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Monday, March 12, 2018

Arabs vs Qatar: what is the cause of the rupture of diplomatic relations

Several Arab countries – among them Saudi Arabia, Egypt and UAE – issued on Monday, the statements about the severance of diplomatic relations with Qatar. A small but very ambitious gas the monarchy was accused of supporting terrorist organizations and fomenting regional conflicts. What is behind these events and what are the consequences?

photo: AP

Those opposed to Qatar, the country promised not only to send Qatari diplomats, but also to stop all land, air and sea links with this Emirate. The monarchy is also possible and led by the Saudis coalition, participating in the military intervention in Yemen (the country, incidentally, also broke diplomatic relations with Qatar).

Doha official has reacted to the decision of those Arab countries to suspend relations with Qatar, calling it without legal justification and in violation of Qatari sovereignty. The monarchy itself was named the victim of a “false campaign” designed to destabilize the region.

Actively playing in the regional arena (and far beyond the Gulf region and the Arabian Peninsula) Qatar has long irritates many Arab countries. In particular, for their support of the group “Muslim brotherhood” (declared a terrorist organization banned in Russia) and related Sunni Islamist groups. At the same time, the Qataris put the blame and support for Pro-Iranian forces in the region. Doha has repeatedly denied allegations of sponsoring extremist groups – but few people have doubts about the huge role that the Emirate has played in helping the various factions of the Syrian armed opposition – including like not a terrorist “Front EN-Nusra”.

In the recent past, Qatar has itself repeatedly made high-profile foreign policy demarches. He broke off diplomatic relations with Israel, with Iran. But, ironically, one of the reasons for the current diplomatic escalation in the Bay area became a scandal with the appearance in late may, comments from the Qatari monarch on the desirability of improving relations with Iran. (And Tehran, as you know, this is a real bone in the throat for Saudi Arabia). In Qatar this information is called “fake” and blame some hackers hacked the website of the state news Agency. Anyway, its Arab neighbors responded by blocking the Qatar-based media, including the famous satellite network “al Jazeera”, often acting with criticism of the Saudi and Egyptian authorities.

Although the application Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Cairo and Manama is about the termination of relations with Qatar sounded separately, there is a distinct feeling of consistency.

– In reality what is happening is a reaction that is not first on the political behavior of Qatar, due to the fact that this country seeks to develop relations with Iran, – says doctor of historical Sciences, Professor Gregory RSUH KOSACH. – That, on the one hand, contrary to the views of other members of the organization of the cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf. And on the other hand, Qatar has long been a place where (as in London to a certain extent) are the representatives of all opposition movements in the Arab world – from the “Muslim Brothers” to Hamas and the Syrian Islamist organizations. And it causes extreme discontent as the Gulf States, and Egypt (as in Qatar are still some prominent figures of the movement “Muslim Brothers”. This phenomenon is not new: in 2014 this kind of event has happened (then Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE recalled their ambassadors from Doha – “MK”). But then it was less painful: there was only a recall of ambassadors. Today everything is much more serious. This is an attempt to stop Qatar and force it to go the way that other States Bay area. The consequences can be considerable: entered the actual blockade of Qatar, Qatari citizens are allowed to arrive on the territory of the countries concerned (although an exception was made to the Qataris, going to the Hajj to Mecca). The country is in isolation…

At first glance, the hostility of Qatar and Saudi Arabia may seem strange – from an ideological point of view, the two Wahhabi monarchies on many issues are on the same side of the barricades. However, it is easy to notice and formed the rivalry of these countries for a leadership role in the Arab-Islamic world.

When we speak about several Arab countries in this situation, the main is Saudi Arabia, – says head of the Centre for Arab and Islamic studies, Institute of Oriental studies , Vasily KUZNETSOV. – Between this country and Qatar a long time, there are contradictions (they were in 2011 and later), which are sometimes aggravated. Qatar wants to play an independent role, and often it seems the Saudi authorities destructive for the region. But I wouldn’t read too much of what happened because we already had examples of the rupture of diplomatic relations, including between the two countries. In the region in General is often the case. It is a form of manifestations of discontent and pressure.

The piquancy of the situation adds the fact that Qatar is the location of the base of the Central command of the U.S. air force. But it is noteworthy that the current sharp indicatorsa steps of Riyadh and its allies were taken after just a few weeks after the visit of Donald trump to Saudi Arabia, during which were signed the arms deal of $110 billion should Not lose sight of the fact that Qatar is preparing to host the world Cup in 2022.


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