In the worst political crisis to hit Gulf Arab states in decades, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain, have called off relations with Qatar. Yemen and the Maldives governments too have cut all the ties with Qatar.
In addition to the three Gulf countries — UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, Egypt too have accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and striking at the foundations of the region.
Qatar has rejected the accusations. While opposing the allegations, Qatar called these charges “groundless” and “unjustified.” Qatar also denied backing any militants or such forces.
What is the verdict?
Citizens of Qatar have been notified that they will have two weeks time, 14 days to be precise, to leave the three Gulf countries — Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE. In addition to this notification for the Qatar citizens, they also banned their own nationals from entering Qatar.
Why did it happen?
Alleging Qatar for its support to Islamist groups and accusing it of destabilising the region the Arab nations including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain jointly decided to cut all ties with Qatar. According to a Saudi regional media, Qatar has been cast out from the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen over alleged support of al-Qaeda and ISIS.
What will be aftermath affects?
The countries declared that they would discontinue all air, land and sea traffic with Qatar. All the diplomats would be evicted besides the Qatari citizens being asked to leave the Gulf states within 14 days. Qatar shares its only land border with Saudi Arabia and after the discontinuation of any land traffic, it is believed that the country would suffer food shortage. After Saudi Arabia closed its sole land border, residents in Doha, the capital of Qatar, began to stockpile because the country is majorly reliant on imported food from its neighbours.
What will happen with Qatar nationals?
- All the Qatar nationals have been given 14 days to leave the Gulf states — UAE, Bahrain and Saudi.
- With Emirates airline suspending all flights to and from Doha starting today morning, the residents will suffer travelling problem.
- All the diplomats would also be evicted from the Gulf states.
- Food will be a major concern as the country relies on imported food from its neighbours.
Flight Ban intensifies the crisis
Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates will be largely affected airlines. This move will disrupt travel as the airport in Qatar’s capital Doha, is a major hub for international flight connections. With Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE closing all transport ties by air, land and sea to Qatar all the airlines from Qatar will have to take longer routes which will inevitably increase the flight times.
Ray of hope
Kuwait and Oman are the only Gulf Cooperation Council members that have not discontinued their ties with Qatar. Though no official statement has been released but it is believed that Turkey, Iran and the US have called on all sides to resolve their differences. Kuwait and Turkey have offered to mediate talks and have initiated a call for dialogue to resolve the ongoing rift between the countries. Qatar’s foreign minister too has called for ‘A dialogue of openness and honesty’.
Source: The Guardian