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Mon 5 Jun 2017 04:19 PM

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Revealed: what led to the Qatar-Gulf diplomatic crisis

Tensions began on May 20 when Qatar says it is the victim of a smear campaign and rejects accusations of it supporting terrorism

Revealed: what led to the Qatar-Gulf diplomatic crisis
Qatars Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. (KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates severed ties with Gulf neighbour Qatar on Monday over accusations it supports extremism, with Egypt and Yemen following suit.

Here are the main developments that led to the unprecedented crisis between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours:

- May 20: Qatar says it is the victim of a smear campaign and rejects accusations of it supporting "terrorism" ahead of a landmark visit by US President Donald Trump to Saudi Arabia.

- May 21: The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani meets Trump on the sidelines of a summit in Riyadh.

- May 24: Qatar says its national news agency has been hacked by unknown parties who have posted "false" statements attributed to the emir, in which he speaks favourably of Iran, Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Lebanese shiite militia Hezbollah.

Qatar denies all the comments and says it is investigating the alleged hacking, but Gulf media continues to run the statements.

- May 25: Emirati newspaper Al-Bayan runs the headline "Qatar divides the Arabs" on its front page, and Saudi-owned daily Al-Hayat speaks of "large-scale resentment" over Qatar.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani says Doha is the victim of a "hostile media campaign", particularly in the United States.

- May 28: UAE State Minister for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash says Gulf countries are going through a new "deep crisis", urging Qatar without naming it to "change its attitude and re-establish confidence and transparency".

- June 2: A Qatari official says FBI agents are helping Doha in investigating the source of the alleged hacking of its official news agency.