The Arab allies cut ties with Qatar

07.06.2017

Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt announced that they broke the diplomatic relations with Qatar. Qatar and three first countries take part in the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf. Qatar and Egypt participate in the International coalition of the Arabic countries in Yemen that is run by Saudi Arabia. Later, Libya and Yemen confirmed that they also broke diplomatic relations with Qatar.

Diplomatic scandal It happened before. In March 2014, Bahrain, KSA, UAE withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar accusing the country of financial and political support of the Society of the Muslim Brothers which were considered as a terrorist group by Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. The ambassadors returned to Doha only when the agreement was signed declaring that the countries of the Golf should not undermine each other’s interests.

This time, the official reason for the break was the speech of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani that was published by Qatar’s news agency. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad AThani said that he was going to support the normalization of relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Later, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar announced that the website of the news agency had been broken by hackers and the Emir’s speech was fake and a provocation. By the way, there were some reasonable thoughts that “it (Iran) is a regional and Islamic force that should not be ignored and the relations with it should not be escalated”. Bahrain, KSA, UAE did not believe that it was fake. Moreover, the speech of Qatar’s Emir appeared in mass media few days after the summit of Arab countries and Donald Trump happened. During this summit they discussed on creating an Arab analogue for he North Atlantic Alliance that can be run by Saudi Arabia and can be used for fighting against Iranian “expansion”. At that time, Iran was again announced as terrorist threat number one for the Middle East.

Bahrain accused the neighbor-state of interfering in the domestic policy. “Qatar that has broken all the agreements, pacts, principles of the international law has created chaos in Bahrein. It does not consider values, laws, morality, principles of good neighborhood

and relations in the Gulf and it denies all responsibilities”, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs

of Bahrein said.

Manama closed the air and sea space for Qatar’s aircrafts and ships. Qatar’s

ambassadors were given 48 hours to leave the territory of the Kingdom. Qatar’s citizens

are now banned to visit Bahrein, as well as the Kingdom’s citizens are banned to visit

Qatar.

The government of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and UAE told that they broke diplomatic relations and stopped the air, sea communication with Qatar. Libya and Yemen joined them.

“The government of the Arab republic of Egypt has taken a decision to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar because Qatar’s officials keep their hostile behavior toward Egypt”, the Egyptian Mynistry of Foreign Affairs said. Cairo and Abu Dhabi accuse Doha of supporting financially “terrorist, extremist and sectarian groups run by the Society of the Muslim Brothers.

Even the Saudi football club Al Ahly told that it broke a sponsor contract with the company Qatar Airways. The recent allies created a blockade for Qatar.

Military- coalition scandal

The International coalition of Arab countries under the leadership of KSA announced in Yemen that they excluded Qatar from their list. The Ministry of Defense of Saudi Arabi

told that they took this decision because Qatar supported the terrorist groups Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State banned in Russia.

The Saudi coalition in Yemen that supported President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi includes KSA, UAE, Qatar, Bahrein, Kuwait and they are also endorsed by Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, Jordan. The coalition is fighting against Ansar Allah, a Zaidi Shia-led religious-political movement (the Houthis movement), and military parts that keep their loyalty toward

President Ali Abdullah Saleh Al-Sanhani Al-Humairi. The group Ansar Allah is declared as a pro-Iranian terrorist organization in Riyadh.

Qatar’s contribution into the Saudi coalition is approximately a thousand of not very-well trained soldiers (they lost a lot in the fighing with the Houthis) and 200 units of armored vehicles. At the moment, the number of Qatar soldiers has decreased to the minimum in fighting. Nobody will see that they have left.

Main contradictions

As for military actions in Yemen, the Saudi Arabia, but not Qatar, has been criticized several times for refusing to fight against AQAP and ISIS and concentrating more on fight with the Houthis. And UAE contingent is fighting against terrorists. This discord of actions was a reason of the allies’ contradictions several times. Egypt decided itself to stop military fighting against Yemen and used only back support and sent fighting ships to the Yemen seaside.

Doha’s support of the Islamic groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda and ISIS and Jabhat al- Nusra is an open secret. However, Riyadh has been pleased with it so far, moreover, its intelligence, experts, mass media are sponsors of these and other terrorist organizations.

The Chairman of the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Ed Royce, also accused Doha and said that he would propose a legislation so as to punish some countries, especially Qatar, that support Hamas and the Muslim Brothers.

Obviously, Saudi Arabia got back the status of the US ally “number one” in the Middle East during Trump’s visit and let Riyadh break any relations with terrorists and accuse Doha instead which, from one side, was its ally but, from the other side, a competitor controlling political Islam. Bahrein, Egypt, UAE just used this situation so as to revenge their zealous ally that, despite its small territory and army, it wants to become a leading regional power using petrodollars. As Libya and Yemen, they do not decide anything because they do not have an independent government; however, they joined for “their noticeability”.