Date: Wednesday, 05 July 2017
Qatar crisis: Saudi Arabia as anti-hero?
By Gabriele vom Bruck,
5 July 2017
Several of Qatar’s neighbours — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain — were joined on 5 June by Egypt, Yemen and some smaller countries in dissolving diplomatic ties with Qatar, and placing it under siege by air, sea and land. In an official statement, the Saudi government referred to several ‘grave violations’ allegedly committed by Qatar, since 2006 the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG). It has accused Qatar’s emir, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, of ‘instigating against the Saudi state and infringing on its sovereignty, supporting various terrorist and other groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, and the Islamic State, using its media to attack Saudi Arabia, and undermining the war in Yemen.’
Gulf analyst Neil Partrick goes as far as to argue that the crisis ‘represents the total failure of the Gulf Union project.’ What light does the crisis throw on Saudi Arabia’s charges against its junior but equally wealthy GCC partner, and what does it have to do with the relations of both Qatar and Saudi Arabia with Yemen, where both countries have been involved in military operations since 2015?.....................
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