Browsing 'Politics' News

QNA

For illustrative purposes only.

Close Al Jazeera and all of its affiliates, shut down Turkey’s new military base in Qatar, reduce diplomatic ties with Iran and submit to regular compliance audits for the next 10 years.

Those are just some of the demands that Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt are making of Qatar nearly three weeks after imposing a blockade on the country, according to the Associated Press.

A list of 13 points was given to Qatar through mediator Kuwait this week, the newswire reports.

Authorities have not yet commented on the demands, but Qatari officials have previously already said that they would not allow other nations to dictate their foreign policy.

Other demands

Many of the points on the list have already been discussed in some capacity by various Arab media outlets.

They include demanding that Qatar sever all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda and ISIS, among other groups.

Perhaps more surprisingly, the four countries want Qatar to stop naturalizing their citizens.

Additionally, they have ordered authorities to expel their citizens currently within Qatar to keep the nation “from meddling in their internal affairs,” AP reports.

This point goes back to the 2014 Gulf dispute. At the time, Bahrain accused Qatar of harming its national security by naturalizing some of its Sunni citizens.

This apparently upset Bahrain’s Sunni/Shia demographic balance.

Compensation sought

Another demand is that Qatar hand over anyone wanted by the four nations on terrorism-related charges. For Egypt, this would mean Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi, an Egyptian-born Qatari cleric.

However, officials have already previously said they will not extradite Qatari citizens to other countries for purported crimes.

Omar Chatriwala / Doha News

Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi

According to Al Jazeera, the four nations are also seeking compensation from Qatar for any harm their foreign policy has done over the past several years.

The country has 10 days to comply with this list of demands.

Thoughts?

SPA

Crown Prince King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani sent a cable of congratulations to the new crown prince of Saudi Arabia yesterday, even though many consider him to be an architect of the Gulf dispute.

The Emir wished Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud “success towards the good of the kingdom under the wise leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud,” QNA reports.

He “further wished more development and growth to the deep fraternal ties between the two brotherly countries,” it added.

Mohammed bin Salman (also known as MBS) is the 31-year-old son of the current king and replaces his cousin Mohammed bin Nayef as crown prince.

He is popular in Saudi Arabia particularly among its large young demographic, and represents what analysts have called a “new generation” of leadership in the country.

Foreign policy

At home, MBS has a reputation as a reformer who wants to open the country up to tourism. He has also introduced live entertainment such as concerts and comedy shows into conservative Saudi Arabia.

Additionally, he supports the right of women to drive.

Saudi88Hawk/Wikicommons

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Abroad, the new crown prince retains his defense minister post. In this capacity, he led the war in Yemen to stop a group allied with Iran from gaining power.

However, the Yemen conflict shows no sign of ending, two years on.

Analysts said MBS has now focused his energies on isolating Qatar for political reasons. But that goal could also end with no clear victory.

“(Boycotting Qatar) has his emerging hallmark of action that is sudden, spectacular but not necessarily strategic,” said Jane Kinninmont, a Middle East expert at Chatham House.

Speaking to Reuters, she added, “It is a maximalist position without a clear endgame.”

For its part, Saudi State TV thanked the Emir for his well wishes, raising hopes that a solution to the ongoing Gulf crisis can still be reached.

Thoughts?

arwcheek / Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

US officials have criticized Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain over the ongoing isolation of Qatar, saying they are “mystified” that no evidence has been released to support their grievances.

In a statement yesterday, a spokesperson for the State Department said that as more “time goes by, the more doubt is raised about the actions taken by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.”

She continued:

“At this point, we are left with one simple question. Were the actions really about their concerns regarding Qatar’s alleged support for terrorism, or were they about the long-simmering grievances between and among the GCC countries?”

The remarks come as Qatari officials have stepped up their criticism of the US for not working harder to smooth over the Gulf crisis with its allies.

US President Donald Trump has previously expressed support for the boycott on the grounds that Qatar supports terrorism.

But the Pentagon and State Department have since thanked Doha for hosting the largest US air base in the region and its help in fighting ISIS.

Hacking

The recent blockade of Qatar by its neighbors appears to have been touched off by the hacking of QNA in May.

At the time, remarks offensive to some Gulf countries were published and falsely attributed to the Emir.

Pixabay

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatari officially promptly dismissed what was posted as fake news, but many in the GCC didn’t appear to be convinced.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Qatar’s attorney general announced that some of the boycotting countries may have been involved in the online attack.

“Qatar has evidence that certain iPhones originating from countries laying siege to Qatar were used in the hack,” said Ali Bin Fetais al-Marri.

However, he declined to name the nations.

Thoughts?