This blog consists of daily news items of interest to followers of QUIDDITY as a qualitatitive method of describing the world. This approach was described by Clive Barker in "The Great and Secret Show" and analyzed in the 149 posts of the QUIDDITY blog of this writer (see link to companion blog).
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
2017 Qatar Diplomatic Crisis
and other countries have criticized Al-Jazeera, Qatar's relations with Iran and accused Qatar of funding terrorist
denied that it supports terrorism. Qatar
has also assisted the US
in the War on Terror and military intervention against ISIL.
and some other Persian Gulf countries, including Bahrain and the UAE, restrained
relations by imposing trade and travel bans. Other Arab countries, including Egypt, followed
suit. Jordan downgraded its
relationship with Qatar.
US President Donald Trump criticized Qatar,
sided with Saudi Arabia,
and took credit for the diplomatic crisis.
have called for the crisis to be resolved through dialogue.
Qatar has had differences with other Arab
governments on a number of issues: it broadcasts Al Jazeera; it is accused of
maintaining good relations with Iran;
and it has supported the Muslim Brotherhood in the past. Qatar is also an American ally, hosting the largest
American base in the Middle East.
The countries withdrawing
diplomatic relations accuse Qatar
of supporting terrorism, of interfering with their internal affairs and of
maintaining relations with Iran.
denies allegations that it supported terrorism, and pointed out that it has
been contributing to the U.S.-led fight against ISIL. Qatar allegedly defended its ties with Iran, saying "Tehran carries influence which cannot be
ignored". However, Qatari officials have claimed that this statement and
others were falsified in a May 2017 hack of the Qatar News Agency. Qatar-based
Al Jazeera claims the dispute stems from this hacking. Intelligence gathered by
security agencies indicates that Russian hackers were behind the intrusion
first reported by the Qataris. US
officials say the Russian goal appears to be to cause rifts among the US and its
allies. The FBI recently sent a team of investigators to Doha to help the Qatari government
investigate the alleged hacking incident.
In June 2017, several countries
cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar. Countries that cut ties
included Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi
(Hadi-led government), United Arab Emirates
and the Maldives.
eastern-based government also cut ties.
Issues of Contention
Qatar maintains relatively good relations with Iran. Qatar and Iran share ownership of South Pars
/ North Dome Gas-Condensate field, by far the world's largest natural gas field,
with significant geostrategic influence. Qatar also used its contacts to
help negotiate peaceful exchanges of hostages or safe evacuation of civilians
from areas affected by the Syrian Civil War. However, Qatar also sent
its forces to fight against alleged Iranian-backed militias in the current Yemeni
Civil War and has supported rebels fighting the Iranian-allied government of Bashar
al-Assad in the Syrian Civil War.
Qatar has supported the Muslim Brotherhood in
the past. By contrast, Saudi
Arabia adheres to Wahhabism, which analysts
see as ideologically different from the Brotherhood. Some Saudis have accused Qatar of
betraying "the true Salafi path". Saudi Arabia and other Gulf
monarchies see the Muslim Brotherhood as a threat, as it ideologically opposes hereditary
rule. The government of Egypt
has long viewed the Muslim Brotherhood as "enemy number one". In
2011, during the Arab Spring, Qatar
supported the Egyptian protesters agitating for change, as well as the Muslim
Brotherhood. By contrast, Saudi
Arabia supported Hosni Mubarak and currently
supports Abdel Fattah el-Sisi since the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état.
Qatar has been accused of sponsoring terrorism.
Some countries have faulted Qatar for funding rebel groups in Syria, including al-Qaeda's
affiliate in Syria, the al-Nusra Front, although the Saudis have done the same.
On June 6th 2017, The US State Department said Qatar had made progress on stemming
the funding of terrorists but that there was more work to be done.
Qatar has hosted officials from the Afghan Taliban
and Hamas. Qatar
defends this move by saying it is trying to act as an intermediary in regional
conflicts. For example, Qatar
hosted talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government in 2016. Critics,
however, see Qatar
as supporting these groups.
Qatar hosts the largest American base in the
Middle East, the Al Udeid Air Base, which has been used by the United States in its campaigns in Iraq, Syria