Four of the leading Arab countries in the Middle East announced cutting of Qatar diplomatic ties. The four Arab countries include Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and United Arab Emirates.
Qatar Diplomatic Ties Cut – Major Decisions Made So Far
So far the Qatar diplomatic ties cut had the following impact.
- Saudi Arabia will cut all ties with Qatar including disconnecting the link via air, land and sea ports.
- UAE has given notice of two weeks to Qatari nationals to leave the country
- Qatar terms the move as unjustified by the four other Muslim countries.
Why Qatar Diplomatic Ties Severed?
Let us have a look at the potential reasons causing Qatar diplomatic ties cut by neighboring countries.
Reports of Controversial Comments by Qatari Emir
Around two weeks ago there were reports of the Qatar Emir criticizing Saudi Arabia. However, the Qatari government quickly dismissed the comments, saying they were fake and their website got hacked.
Recent Visit of the US President to the Middle East
Political analysts believe that cutting of Qatar diplomatic ties comes after the visit of the US President to the Middle East. The US President Donald Trump spent nine days in the Middle East. Analysts are closely following the developments in the Middle East and term it as an emboldened move by the four countries. The Trump visit in a way gives these countries the confidence to take any action they deem necessary for their national security.
Protection Against Extremism and Terrorism
All the four countries that severed Qatar diplomatic ties accuse it of harboring terrorists. The Saudi government accuses Qatar of inciting extremism. Saudi government further says that it is exercising its right to protect its sovereignty and its citizens. The Saudi Arab coalition fighting the Houthi rebels has expelled Qatar from its military alliance.
Bahrain also cut Qatar diplomatic ties and accused it of meddling in the country’s internal affairs. Furthermore, it said that Bahrain is a close ally of Saudi Arabia. Bahrain gave 14 days’ notice to the Qatari nationals to leave the country.
The United Arab Emirates severed Qatar diplomatic ties by saying it supports extremists. Furthermore, the UAE’s government accuses Qatar of creating instability in the region. UAE gave the Qatari Diplomats 48 hours to leave the country.
The Support of the Muslim Brotherhood Organization
The Egyptian government accuses Qatar of supporting the terrorist group Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt will close its airspace and seaports for Qatari transport. The country’s top leadership says that it will protect its national security.
Possible Implications for the US
Qatar has one of the largest US airbases in the Middle East. There are currently around 10,000 US troops stationed in Qatar. There are no clear indications if this decision would impact the US soldiers presence in the region.
Rex Tillerson, the US Secretary of State, has asked the countries to overcome their differences. He also offered US assistance for resolving any conflicts between the countries.
Furthermore, he added that all parties must sit together to address their differences. He added that if asked the US will play its role to resolve the issues causing concern. He stated that the GCC countries need to remain united.
Qatar Diplomatic Ties Cut – Flight Schedules Affected
The cutting of Qatar diplomatic ties has long-term repercussions for the entire region. Here is a quick look at some of the major flight disruptions.
Saudi Arabian Airlines
Saudi Arabian Airlines will no longer fly into Qatar. No further details are available on the decision as of now.
Qatar Airways has suspended all its flights to Saudi Arabia.
Emirates, as per the directives of its government, will no longer fly from Dubai to Doha 6th June 2017 onwards. The airlines’ routine flights from Doha will resume as per routine.
Similarly, the budget option FlyDubai will not offer any more flights between Dubai and Doha.