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Qatar crisis creates 'new' Gulf with no winners, experts warn

  • On June 5, 2017 as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt suddenly cut all ties with Doha, accusing it of supporting terrorism and Iran.
  • Qatar found its only land border closed, its state-owned airline barred from using its neighbours' airspace, and Qatari residents expelled from the boycotting countries.
 

The year-old acrimonious dispute between Qatar and its neighbours is forging a "new" Gulf, potentially transforming what was a stable region of the Arab world, experts warn.

It has shattered old alliances and rendered the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council practically obsolete, pushing Qatar towards Turkey and Iran.
And with no sign of a resolution, it is unclear if any party has benefitted.


"In its impact on the regional unit in the Arab Gulf, the crisis is likely to be as disruptive and as era-defining as Saddam Hussein's invasion and occupation of Kuwait was in 1990," said Kristian Ulrichsen, a fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute.

"It is very difficult to see how the Arab Gulf can come back together."

The crisis between some of the world's richest countries erupted on June 5, 2017 as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt suddenly cut all ties with Doha, accusing it of supporting terrorism and Iran.

Qatar, a small peninsula nation, found its only land border closed, its state-owned airline barred from using its neighbours' airspace, and Qatari residents expelled from the boycotting countries.

Doha was handed a list of 13 demands, including closing broadcaster Al Jazeera, removing Turkish troops from the country, and scaling back its cooperation with Iran, with which it shares the world's largest gas field.

Qatar has done none of these. Instead it has responded defiantly by dismissing the charges and courting new diplomatic and trading links.

...[ Continue to next page ]

Source: timesofindia

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