Qatar crisis worsening

In the four prior blogs, I tried to explain some of the key element of the crisis. It was not comprehensive.  I will list a few recent events not included in the last blog.  These events are  all within the last 5 days, although they are not really in proper time sequence.

Massive deportations and family separations will result:

Al Jazeera headline:  Saudi-led blockade on Qatar ‘breaking up families’ Amid GCC diplomatic crisis, hundreds of mixed-citizenship couples are facing separation.  It should have mentioned that Qatar retaliated, expelling Saudi, UAE and Bahraini citizens.   In their article,  it is stated:

Shortly following the severing of diplomatic ties and border closure between Qatar and the three Arab Gulf countries of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, Qatari nationals were ordered to leave within 14 days. Saudi, UAE and Bahraini citizens were also given the same timeframe to leave Qatar.

As a result, hundreds of mixed-citizenship Qatari couples are facing the grim prospect of being split from their families. The children inherit the nationality of their father in mixed citizenship couples, so in many cases, the children are really unfamiliar with the countries to which they are being deported.  It is a humanitarian disaster.  Each day, reconciliation seems more unlikely as each side is trying to inflect as much damages on the other as possible.

Read more

UAE  15 year sentence for “sympathy  crimes”:    “Strict and firm action will be taken against anyone who shows sympathy or any form of bias towards Qatar, or against anyone who objects to the position of the United Arab Emirates, whether it be through the means of social media, or any type of written, visual or verbal form,” Gulf News quoted UAE Attorney-General Hamad Saif al-Shamsi as saying. Offenders could be punished with a jail term of up to 15 years and a fine of at least 500,000 dirhams ($136,000), Gulf News reported.

Russian Hacking:   Washington (CNN)US investigators believe Russian hackers breached Qatar’s state news agency and planted a fake news report that contributed to a crisis among the US’ closest Gulf allies, according to US officials briefed on the investigation. The FBI recently sent a team of investigators to Doha to help the Qatari government investigate the alleged hacking incident, Qatari and US government officials say.

June 5 activities were aimed at sanctioning Qatar, and isolating its ability to trade and obtained supplies.  Saudi Arabia’s central bank asks local banks to sell Qatari riyals and not to buy any more, local media and Reuters report.  Egypt airspace to close on Tuesday.. Egypt’s ministry of civil aviation has announced that the country’s airspace will be closed to Qatari flights starting Tuesday 04:00 GMT.   Lieberman, Israel’s defence minister, has praised the measures against Qatar, saying: “There is no doubt that this opens very many possibilities of cooperation in the struggle against terror.”  Saudi Arabia has shut down Al Jazeera Media Network’s local office, according to Saudi state media. The Saudi Ports Authority has notified shipping agents not to receive vessels carrying Qatari flags or ships owned by Qatari companies or individuals. Egypt suspends air and sea links.   Egypt’s foreign ministry said in a statement the country was suspending air and sea links to Qatar, citing national security.

Yemen cuts ties, despite Qatar’s assistance fighting the Houtis:  Yemen’s internationally recognised government has cut relations with Qatar and says it supports the decision by the Saudi-led coalition to end Qatar’s participation in the war on the Houthis in Yemen. Qatar has been part of the coalition since March 2015.  The government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi says it severed ties with Qatar in part over its support of extremist groups in Yemen “in contradiction with the goals announced by the countries supporting the legitimate government”.

Just half the news!  June 10, A separate report from Saudi’s state-run news agency SPA acknowledged Tillerson’s call for Qatar to curtail support for “terrorism”, but did not mention his remarks that the crisis was hurting ordinary Qataris, impairing business activities and harming the fight against ISIL.

I guess that’s enough for now.   See link for the latest updates.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Al Jazeera:  Saudi led blockade is breaking up families (So is Qatar’s deportation)

Al Jazeera: Qatar Diplomatic Crisis: Latest Updates

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