Embargo of Qatar Analysis in Historical ContextEmbargo of Qatar, in order to understand it, it is critical to know how did it all begin? Think back, way back in 1991, Qatar alluded the border conflicts with it is neighboring country, Bahrain, over the Hawar Islands to the United Nations. The dispute grew to almost become an armed confrontation between the two countries but the conflict was contained in 1986 by Saudi mediation. The ICJ made a decision regarding the island in border conflict, in which she decided that Bahrain had claim over Hawar Islands and one of the reefs, whereas Qatar was granted the other reef, Zubara, and the Janan Islands.
A year later in 1992 a border clash between Saudi Arabia and Qatar took place and resulted in the death of 3 Qataris. Which went against the 1965 agreement between both countries in which they assigned the ownership of certain areas and drew the borders between them. However, border disputes continued and in 1996 Qatar and Saudi Arabia marked a border boundary agreement. The agreement handle took three years to finalize, but the border issue was not settled until more than 10 years later.
In spite of the agreements, the border clashes were not the only disputes emerging between KSA and Qatar. In 2002 KSA pulled back its ambassador from Doha in response to disputable comments that were made on the Al Jazeera by Saudi protesters critical of the Saudi royal family. A year later, the disagreements got to be more warmed when the Crown prince of KSA Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz boycotted the Islamic Conference summit held in Doha because of his protests against Qatar’s trades and exchange relations with Israel. However, after Saudi Arabia expelled their minister from Qatar over what is claimed to be Al Jazeera’s alleged critical stances towards Saudi Arabia’s ruling family, political relations were re-established in 2008, after affirmations that Al Jazeera would constrain its media coverage of Saudi Arabia.
Moreover, in 2006 Saudi Arabia started revoking approval of Qatar’s regional plans. such as withdrawing its approval for Qatari-Kuwaiti plans to build a gas pipeline. The pipes were to pass through Saudi territorial waters. The memorandum of understanding has been signed in 2000 in which Saudi gave its agreement to. Despite the ongoing disputes between Qatar and KSA, when presented with the chance in 2010, Qatar took the first initiative to improve relations between the 2 countries. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani pardoned a few Saudi citizens accused of being part of an attempt of a coup against him. The pardon came right after a request from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
This stance played a major role in improving the disrupt relations between the KSA and Qatar. It was until 2011 when the Arab Spring took place, it had little to no impact on the nations of the GCC. However, KSA and Qatar were supporting different sides within the distress that held the Arab world, and tensions started to surface again.
The more severe clashes took place in 2014 when ties between GCC countries became quite Unstable. In 3rd of March, 2014 UAE court of justice sentenced a Qatari citizen to seven years in jail. He was charged because he supported a group called Al-Islah, a group that was considered a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in UAE. The next day, UAE, KSA, and Bahrain suspended their ties with Qatar over accusations of breaking the 2013 security agreement by supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and failing to commit to not interfere with internal affairs of the GCC states. In addition to harboring hostile media. However, in November KSA, Bahrain, and UAE agreed to return their ambassadors to Doha after eight months of tension and frozen relations between the three countries and Qatar. Ties’ literal cutting started with fake news. Qatar was greeted on the morning of May 23rd with news of a hack that had a sole reason of crediting wrong statements to HH Emir of Qatar.
The fake news was publicized on a few UAE and Saudi-owned networks within the Gulf, which started the first spark of a diplomatic breakdown. The incident came just two days after President Donald Trump met Gulf Arab leaders in Riyadh. On May 24, authorities in Saudi Arabia and the UAE too blocked Al Jazeera’s website. Discretionary relations. On June 5 early morning, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt issued statements declaring the disjoining of diplomatic relations with Qatar.
Saudi Arabia then shut its land borders with Qatar, and along with three other countries forced a land, ocean, and air ban on Qatar. On June 7, Jordan also announced that it would scale back its diplomatic ties with Qatar and shut down the Al Jazeera bureau in Amman. Why did these countries cut ties with Qatar? The four countries have claimed that Qatar works to support “terrorism”, maintains cordial relations with Iran and meddles in the internal affairs of their countries. What has Qatar’s response been? The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar responded to the initial announcements by saying that there was “no legitimate justification” for the actions taken by the four countries to sever diplomatic relations. It added that the decision was a “violation of its sovereignty” and that it would work to ensure that it would not affect the citizens and residents of Qatar.
Throughout, Qatar has strongly rejected the accusations leveled against it, viewing the campaign as an attempt to impose custodianship over the tiny nation.