The ongoing Qatar Crisis has shuddered the geopolitics completely. With the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) isolating Qatar, there is a huge uproar in Middle East as well as in the International politics.
Here we share all the details about the crisis – the background, the root cause, the after effects and the ongoing talks through Kuwait, the mediator country.
What is Qatar Crisis? When Did it start?
The Qatar crisis aka Qatar-Gulf crisis is a diplomatic crisis which began on June 5th, 2017, when four countries namely Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and UAE took the decision to cut all sort of diplomatic ties with Qatar. The main reason of this action as cited by the Saudi-led coalition is Qatar’s alleged support to various terrorist organization including ISIL, Al-Qaida and Muslim Brotherhood.
Further, the countries insist that Qatar has violated the 2014 agreement with the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) by maintaining relations with Iran. Qatar in its defence claims that it has no connection with ISIL or Al-Qaida and have even assisted the United States of America in its military intervention against ISIL. While, the four states in the 6 member GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) have cut their diplomatic ties with Qatar, the remaining two – Oman and Kuwait didn’t cut any ties. In fact, Kuwait has offered to be a mediator in the Qatar-Gulf Crisis.
What are the After Effects of the Qatar-Gulf Crisis
When Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) severed ties on 5 June 2017 with Qatar, they not only banned their citizens from travelling to Qatar but also gave Qatari citizens an intimation of 14 days to leave their land. This created havoc in the lives of families that are stretched across these four countries.
The political crisis has forcibly separated husbands from wives and mothers from children as children take the nationality of a father in these region. Egypt, despite cutting diplomatic ties with Qatar did not impose any such restrictions on its own citizens living in Qatar. The Maldives, Libya’s eastern-based government and Yemen too have followed the suit. Chad, Niger, Jordan and Djibouti have not fully cut their relation with Qatar but have downgraded their diplomatic ties.
Post the crisis, Qatar’s land border is closed by Saudi Arabia, ships having Qatari flag and/or serving Qatar are banned from docking at their ports. Further, the four states have closed all their airspaces to Qatari aircraft and have asked foreign airlines to seek permission for all the overflights via Qatar. The kingdom has also ordered to shut the Qatar Airways offices. After a lot of hue and cry, on 17th August 2017, the Saudi Arabia Kingdom has said that it will allow Qatari pilgrims to allow Hajj.
How Qatar Has Been Hit by the Isolation?
Qatar with a population of 2.7 million is mainly dependent on imports to provide basic needs to its people. Now that almost 40% of Qatar’s food came via the land border with Saudi Arabia, the basic supplies at the supermarket started declining soon after Saudi Arabia closed the land borders with Qatar. However, things became normal when Iran and Turkey came to the rescue by supplying food to Qatar by sea and air.
The airspace restrictions have disrupted the functioning of the Qatar Airways. Though the stock market lost 10% in market value during the first month, it has recovered 6 per cent. The Qatar crisis however have no adverse effect on its exports of liquefied natural gas.
With no access to shipping ports in four countries, the crisis has increased the shipping cost almost by tenfold. This has affected those companies that are working on infrastructure projects as they now have to secure new and alternative sources for building materials. Meanwhile, Qatar have launched a WTO complaint against trade boycott
Can the Qatar-Gulf Crisis End?
Well, the four countries on June 22 in return for ending the restrictions on Qatar put forward their 13 to-do non-negotiable list through Kuwait (which acted as a mediator) and gave them a 10 day deadline to accept all the points in the list. The list included curbing ties with Iran, closing down Al-Jazeera, stop funding organizations or individuals termed as terrorists by the four nations, US along with other countries, stop granting nationality to wanted nationals from the four countries along with other things. (Check out the complete list translated by the Associated Press)
Terming it as unrealistic, the Qatar government rejected the offer. The four countries got a negative response on July 5 and so on July 18 to resolve things amicably the diplomats from these four countries zeroed in six broad principles – combating extremism and terrorism, stoppage of incitement towards violence and hatred, denying safe havens and finance to terrorist organizations, and refraining from interfering in the internal affairs of other nations. (Source: The New York Times)
To end the Qatar Crisis, the four Gulf nations now want Qatar to accept the 6 core principles laid by them.