UAE cuts ties with Qatar as diplomatic tensions rise
Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 05 June 2017| 10 Ramadaan 1438
By Muhammad Sheik
The United Arab Emirates has taken a controversial foreign policy step after it severed ties with its gulf neighbor Qatar earlier today. The move which now sees airlines removing Doha from their flight schedules, as well as Qatari diplomats being given 48 hours to leave the UAE has caused an unprecedented diplomatic stir.
The UAE has reiterated its support for statements made by Bahrain and Saudi Arabia calling Qatar a “state sponsor of terrorism globally”. The Qataris have shrugged off these comments acting in the like by suspending all flights from Doha to Sharjah and vice versa as well as other Gulf territories.
In what sounds more like a warning than a diplomatic concern, the United Arab Emirates released the following statement published earlier today via Gulf News,
“The UAE affirms its complete commitment and support to the Gulf Cooperation Council and to the security and stability of the GCC States. Within this framework, and based on the insistence of the State of Qatar to continue to undermine the security and stability of the region and its failure to honour international commitments and agreements, it has been decided to take the following measures that are necessary for safeguarding the interests of the GCC States in general and those of the brotherly Qatari people in particular:
1-In support of the statements issued by the sisterly Kingdom of Bahrain and sisterly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates severs all relations with the State of Qatar, including breaking off diplomatic relations, and gives Qatari diplomats 48 hours to leave the UAE.
2-Preventing Qatari nationals from entering the UAE or crossing its points of entry, giving Qatari residents and visitors in the UAE 14 days to leave the country for precautionary security reasons. The UAE nationals are likewise banned from traveling to or staying in Qatar or transiting through its territories.
3-Closure of UAE airspace and seaports for all Qataris in 24 hours and banning all Qatari means of transportation, coming to or leaving the UAE, from crossing, entering or leaving the UAE territories, and taking all legal measures in collaboration with friendly countries and international companies with regards to Qataris using the UAE airspace and territorial waters, from and to Qatar, for national security considerations.
The UAE is taking these decisive measures as a result of the Qatari authorities’ failure to abide by the Riyadh Agreement on returning GCC diplomats to Doha and its Complementary Arrangement in 2014, and Qatar’s continued support, funding and hosting of terror groups, primarily Islamic Brotherhood, and its sustained endeavours to promote the ideologies of Daesh and Al Qaeda across its direct and indirect media in addition to Qatar’s violation of the statement issued at the US-Islamic Summit in Riyadh on May 21st, 2017 on countering terrorism in the region and considering Iran a state sponsor of terrorism. The UAE measures are taken as well based on Qatari authorities’ hosting of terrorist elements and meddling in the affairs of other countries as well as their support of terror groups policies which are likely to push the region into a stage of unpredictable consequences.
While regretting the policies taken by the State of Qatar that sow seeds of sedition and discord among the region’s countries, the UAE affirms its full respect and appreciation for the brotherly Qatari people on account of the profound historical, religious and fraternal ties and kin relations binding UAE and Qatari people.”
Interestingly these key shifts in Arab politics come soon after the very Riyadh Summit which was a substantial payday for US President Donald Trumps administration. Trump attended the Summit in the Saudi Capital in an attempt to drum up financial backing for his administration and US projects in the region. His historical visit could be viewed as the catalyst forcing this move by the UAE and other Gulf states against Qatar.
The Saudi state news agency SPA said that Riyadh had closed its borders, severing land, sea and air contact with Qatar and largely isolating it. It cited officials as saying it was to “protect its national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism”. Rhetoric which seems to carry a very Trump-esque tone.
According to Bahrain’s state news agency, the country was cutting ties with Qatar because Doha was “shaking the security and stability of Bahrain and meddling in its affairs”.
The question remains, is this diplomatic dilemma the result of Qatari interference in the affairs of other Gulf states or does this latest move have the stench of Trumps bloodied hands all over it?
Pic Credit – Al Jazeera
The views and opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect Cii Radio’s editorial policy.