FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Arab split: Qatar’s isolation by its neighbours exacerbates Middle East tensions
Posted:Jun 6, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
With Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cutting off ties with Qatar, the Arab world has plunged into further turmoil. Yemen, Libya’s eastern-based government and the Maldives too have joined the ban against Qatar which sees a severing of diplomatic ties with Doha apart from blocking off land, air and sea routes to the gas-rich nation. The immediate provocation for the move appears to be statements purportedly made by Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, supporting Muslim Brotherhood and criticising the Sunni coalition against Iran. However, tensions have been brewing over Qatar’s actions within the Gulf Cooperation Council for years.
 
Qatar’s position within the coalition of Gulf Arab nations has been different from other members. Although Doha sees itself as a neutral mediator, its support for groups representing political Islam such as the Palestinian Hamas and the Brotherhood has riled Riyadh. Plus, Qatar is seen as soft on Iran with which it shares the world’s largest gas field. That Qatar’s isolation by its powerful neighbours comes just weeks after US President Donald Trump used his Saudi visit to squarely blame Iran for fuelling extremism in the region may not be a coincidence. Riyadh could be using this opportunity to curb dissent within the Sunni flock and get them to line up behind it.
 
The ban against Qatar will certainly hurt the Qatari economy, which will impact the many Indians working there. Most of Qatar’s food supplies are imported via Saudi Arabia and Doha has emerged as an international aviation hub. These are bound to be affected. However, signs are that Qatar is looking to negotiate its way out of the blockade, having stated that the statements attributed to Sheikh Thani were the handiwork of hackers. If the US is not in its corner, Qatar has few options.
 
This is a pity as Shia-Sunni sectarian strife will only provide a fillip to terror groups such as Islamic State. What’s needed is for Arab countries to work out a compact with Iran. Given US interests in the region, this is precisely what Washington ought to be facilitating. As far as India is concerned, New Delhi has done well to state this is an internal matter for the Gulf countries to handle. Its only focus should be to provide assistance – if required – to Indians in Qatar.
 
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has confirmed his presence for the occasion. In an exclusive interview with INDIA REVIEW & ANALYSIS, Indonesia’s Ambassador to India, Sidharto R.Suryodipuro, reminded Nilova Roy Chaudhury that the first Chief Guest for India’s Republic Day celebrations, in 1950, w
 
read-more
The words of Ho Chi Minh  “Nothing is more precious than independence and liberty” rang true for the people of the erstwhile East Pakistan when, with increasing brutality, the West Pakistani oppression spread across the land, writes Anwar A Khan from Dhaka
 
read-more
In a significant boost to New Delhi's Act East Policy, India and Japan set up the Act East Forum on Tuesday as agreed during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to India this year for the annual bilateral meeting that would help to focus and catalyse development in India's Northeast.
 
read-more
  United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reiterated on Friday Washington's warning that “all options are on the table” to meet North Korea's nuclear threat while offering to keep the lines of communication with Pyongyang open.
 
read-more
What is commonly referred to as the “border dispute” between India and China manifests itself in two distinct and separate areas of contention. One is Aksai Chin, a virtually uninhabited high-altitude desert expanse of about 37,000 square kilometres. The other is what is now the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh,
 
read-more
The first thing that one sees when a flight approaches New Delhi is thick smog that envelopes the city and its lack of greenery.  In almost all other major cities of India lack of greenery is the most obvious sight that one sees when approaching it by air.
 
read-more

Pakistan has agreed to allow the rupee to depreciate after holding talks with the International Mone­tary Fund (IMF) on the country's economy.

 
read-more

Two major global changes in the past year; the ‘Brexit’ referendum and the advent of Donald Trump, writes Sandeep Kaur Bhatia

 
read-more

It is also imperative for India to explore other regions for markets. Its trade deficit with Latin America has been narrowing. Also, its trade with Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala has increased, ...

 
read-more
Column-image

Over the last 25 years, India's explosive economic growth has vaulted it into the ranks of the world's emerging major powers. Long plagued by endemic poverty, until the 1990s the Indian economy was also hamstrung by a burdensome regulat...

 
Column-image

Title: A Ticket to Syria; Author: Shirish Thorat; Publisher: Bloomsbury India: Pages: 254; Price: Rs 399

 
Column-image

Gorichen, a majestic peak in the Eastern Himalayas at an altitude of 22,500 feet, is the highest in Arunachal Pradesh. Beautiful to look at and providing a fantastic view from the top, it is extremely tough climb for mountaineers.

 
Column-image

It is often conjectured if the reason for long-standing conflicts and insurgencies, in the developing world, especially South Asia, is not only other powers fishing in troubled waters but also the keenness of arms industries, mostly Western, to...

 
Column-image

Title: The People Next Door -The Curious History of India-Pakistan Relations; Author: T.C.A. Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins ; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 699