Irish in Qatar need embassy's help, says TD

Alain Brian
Juin 6, 2017

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates announced that they were breaking off diplomatic ties with Qatar, with Saudi Arabia accusing Qatar of backing "terrorist groups aiming to destabilize the region".

The crisis is likely to have wide-ranging consequences, not just for Qatar and its citizens but around the West Asia and for Western interests.

The diplomatic broadside threatens the worldwide prestige of Qatar, home to a large United States military base and set to host the 2022 World Cup.

Today's announcement came less than a month after US President Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia to cement ties with Riyadh and called for a united front among Muslim countries against extremism.

The diplomatic spat has created a rift in the Gulf Cooperation Council, a regional alliance made up of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar.

The unprecedented measures against Doha include ordering Qatari citizens to leave within 14 days and banning citizens of the three Gulf states from travelling to Qatar.

"This is a continuation of a longstanding disagreement between Qatar and, primarily, the UAE and Saudi Arabia over Qatar's support for groups that the others consider as threats to regional stability and security", Feierstein said. "I think it's still going to be a bit of a debate on the true impact it can have on the oil market", said Olivier Jakob, strategist at Petromatrix.

Qatari share prices closed down 7.58 percent.

A media campaign, which appears to have been co-ordinated by authorities at the highest levels, has been building against Qatar since its state media was hacked and bogus statements published.

"The Egyptian government and the Saudi Arabian government, and now other countries allied with them, have been upset at Qatar for many years now primarily because of Al Jazeera", says Sahar Aziz, a professor of law at Texas A&M University School of Law who specializes in national security and counterterrorism.

Qatar Airways announced that it has suspended all flights to Saudi Arabia with immediate effect.

"The Qatari Government will take all necessary measures to ensure this and to thwart attempts to influence and harm the Qatari society and economy", it said. Yemen's internationally backed government, which has lost the capital and large portions of the war-torn country, also cut relations with Qatar, as did the Maldives and one of conflict-ridden Libya's competing governments. Qatar also rejects sectarianism and wants to engage with Iran, much to the discomfiture of Saudi Arabia, Prof Pradhan added.

Opinion: Trump and Saudi Arabia: Have we reached peak hypocrisy yet?

A State Department spokesperson reaffirmed the USA commitment to Qatar Monday, saying that the U.S. "relationship with Qatar is strong ... all of our partnerships in the Gulf are incredibly important and we count on the parties to find a way to resolve their differences sooner rather than later".

He encouraged Qatar and its neighbours to "sit down together", while Iran also urged Qatar and its neighbours to talk.

"Neighbors are permanent; geography can't be changed". Coercion is never the solution. Consumption is traditionally higher during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which is now being observed.

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman told his country's parliament the latest developments involving Qatar could herald a broad anti-terror alliance including Israel.

A separate US$750 million "blanket order training programme" contract, included flight training, professional military education, and English language training, the agency said.

"We are friends, we've been friends now for a long time, haven't we?"

Doha denied the comments and denounced a "shameful cybercrime". Qatar supplies the UAE with natural gas through a pipeline, and despite the tensions between the two countries there is little chance the UAE will reject Qatari gas, which is needed to meet electricity demand during the summer months.

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