In an extraordinary development which took place just days after The Donald’s visit in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties and shut all borders with Qatar, making for what can be best described as a geopolitical tectonic shift in the region.
The rift between the Saudi Arabia&friends (basically all the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council) and Qatar just got huge. Qatar is accused of funding terrorism, spreading chaos and, horribile dictu, supporting Iran.
The conflict between the Gulf Arab states and Qatar started over a claimed hack of the latter’s state owned news agency. According to a report via Al Arabiya quoting Bahrain’s News Agency, Bahrain is cutting all diplomatic ties with Qatar with the reason given being, let me quote:
on the insistence of the State of Qatar to continue destabilizing the security and stability of the Kingdom of Bahrain and to intervene in its affairs.“(Qatar has) spread chaos in Bahrain in flagrant violation of all agreements and covenants and principles of international law Without regard to values, law or morals or consideration of the principles of good neighborliness or commitment to the constants of Gulf relations and the denial of all previous commitments,”
Qatar’s citizens were ordered to leave Bahrain in 2 weeks tops while diplomats were given 2 days to exit Bahrain after they were expelled. All Bahrain citizens are banned from visiting/residing in Qatar following the diplomatic conflict.Both sea and air borders with Qatar were closed.
Saudi Arabia also cut diplomatic ties and shut down all airspace, sea and land crossings with Qatar, while dissolving the country’s role in the coalition fighting against Yemen (led by Saudi Arabia, nota bene). Etihad, Emirates, Gulf Air, Saudia and Egypt air are banned from flying to Qatar, with Saudi Arabia providing services and facilities to Qatari pilgrims. Egypt followed into Saudi Arabia footsteps, then United Arab Emirates confirmed it would cut diplomatic ties/shut down land crossings/water/sky and expel Qatari citizens in 2 days. And lastly, the Maldives stepped up to the plate.
These developments take place within twenty four hours of Iran bashing “the West” for disregarding the real sponsors of global Islamic terrorism, with UK’s Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn calling directly for Saudi Arabia as being a founder/supporter of terrorism and global jihad. It’s worth mentioning that Qatar has signed
a military treaty with Turkey, which includes a secret clause demanding Ankara to protect Qatar from foreign threats. If Qatar will have to pay the price for “the war on terror
” (read scapegoat), it will definitely drop its support for a Syrian gas pipeline, and thus the war in Syria will become unnecessary.
Are we witnessing 3D chess moves from The Donald? We’ll just have to wait and see about that.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)