Daily Management Review

Arab countries break ties with Qatar


On the night of June 5, Bahrain announced break of diplomatic relations with Qatar and intention to interrupt air and sea communication with this country. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt issued similar statements, and Yemen joined them after a while

Al Jazeera English
Al Jazeera English
All these countries accused Qatar of supporting terrorist groups and of trying to influence their domestic policies in cooperation with Iran. Following them, the Libyan leader, General Khalifa Haftar, declared a rupture with Qatar, as reported by Al-Jazeera. The interim government of Libya under the leadership of Prime Minister Abdullah Abdurrahman al-Tani took this decision out of solidarity, the head of the Foreign Ministry of the eastern government of Libya, Mohammed ad-Dairi, told Sky News Arabiya. On behalf of this structure, he accused Doha of "numerous and continuing attacks on the dignity of the Libyan people after the February 17 revolution, which has long been a source of outrage and anger among broad sections of the Libyan society". This decision was then backed by the Maldives, Al-Arabia reported.

In a few hours, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar said that this decision has no legitimate reasons and that it violates the sovereignty of the emirate, reports AP. Simultaneously, the department assured that this decision will not affect the life of ordinary citizens. "Doha deplores the decision of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to break off relations and considers this measure unjustified, based on unfounded allegations". Also in Doha, they regret "closing the borders with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain." 

On Monday morning, Bahrain accused Qatar of supporting armed terrorist groups, financing Iranian groups that are trying to arrange sabotage in Bahrain, and in attempts to incite through the media. This was stated in a short statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain, which was handed over by the state news agency.

Riyadh through the state agency SPA accused Doha of systematic attempts to split the ranks of the Saudis, to undermine the kingdom’s sovereignty of supportting of various terrorist and sectarian groups that are trying to destabilize the situation in the region. This is reported by Al-Arabiya. In particular, Saudi Arabia suspects Qatar of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State and Al-Qaeda groups, banned in the kingdom and supporting pro-Iranian terrorist groups operating in Saudi Arabia.
The noted that Qatar is threatening stability and security in the region and is trying to manipulate the terms of the previously concluded agreements between the countries of the Persian Gulf.

Egypt rebuked Qatar for the support of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt said their diplomats would leave Qatar and give citizens of Qatar two weeks to travel, reports Reuters. The UAE, Egypt and Bahrain interrupted air and sea communication with Qatar, Saudi Arabia also closed the land border. Saudi Arabia, which heads an international coalition fighting against Husit insurgents in Yemen, also said that the Qatari military contingent will no longer participate in this military operation.

Later it became known that Doha asked the citizens to leave the UAE within two weeks. Those who cannot get to Qatar directly are recommended to go through Kuwait or Oman.

The state-owned Etihad Airways, based in Abu Dhabi, said it would suspend flights to Qatar from June 6. "Al-Arabia" reported on the delay and cancellation of many flights at the international airport of Doha. Then it became known that the emirates' companies FlyDubai and Emirates were going to suspend flights to Qatar, reports Reuters. Also on Tuesday, Air Arabia has suspended flights to Doha, promising passengers who already bought tickets to compensate for ticket costs or offer flights to other destinations. Then Qatar Airways, one of the largest airlines in the region, through its website reported that it stops flights to Saudi Arabia, reports Reuters. The agency recalls that this company regularly flies through the airspace of the kingdom. Egypt Air and Saudia also refused this destination. The largest airline of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Gulf Air, from midnight on June 6, suspends the communication between Manama and Doha, says Al Arabiya TV channel.

Several Egyptian banks suspended transactions with Qatar banks, four sources in the banking circles of Cairo told Reuters.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson does not think that the current aggravation will affect cooperation in the fight against the "Islamic state", but urged the Gulf countries to resolve all disagreements through dialogue. According to Fox News, the head of the State Department commented on the situation from Australia, where he is on a visit. According to him, it was noticeable that mutual distrust between these countries has been brewing for quite a long time and now it "boiled up" and reached the degree when it was time for all the disagreements to resolve. "We, of course, will welcome the parties’ decision to sit down at the negotiating table to resolve the differences", he said. The United States has several military bases in the region, including the situation of the US military at the Al-Uday airbase in Qatar. The Central Command has not yet responded to Reuters' request for possible consequences of the current political decisions. Also, the 5th Navy Fleet, based in Bahrain, did not respond to the agency's request.

Closing the borders and breaking diplomatic ties is not a way out of the crisis, said Hamid Aboutalebi, the deputy head of the Iranian president's office, Hasan Roukhani. In his opinion, aggression will result in the growth of instability. He is quoted by Reuters. He also suggested that the United States stands behind the countries that oppose Qatar.

If the borders with Qatar are closed for a long time, it could affect the holding of the World Cup in 2022 in this country, said expert from the American Baker Institute Christian Ulriksen. In his impression, the UAE and Saudi Arabia are inspired by the coincidence of their regional interests with regard to Iran and Islamists with the policy of the Trump administration. "They decided to respond to Qatar's alternative approaches, suggesting that they would be supported by the US administration", the analyst said.

source: reuters.com, ap.org