The Qatar Crisis

Map of Middle East - QatarIs an excellent article by Adam Hanieh in The Bulletin | 3 July 2017. The article gives good insight into the political economy of the gulf, the nature of the contending interests, role of Israel and the US. But above all it emphasizes that the politics of our enemy’s enemy is our friend is totally inappropriate for the left.

The Qatar Crisis

The June 5 decision by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, and Egypt to suspend diplomatic ties with Qatar has sent shockwaves through the Middle East.

The ensuing blockade shut down much of the Gulf’s maritime and land trade with Qatar, provoking fears that the tiny state would soon face food shortages. Major air carriers, including Emirates, Gulf Air, flydubai, and Etihad Airways, canceled flights, and Qatari citizens living in the participating nations had just two weeks to return home. Even immigrants with Qatari residency permits would be caught up in the expulsion.

The UAE outlawed any expression of sympathy for Qatar – including on Twitter – and threatened offenders with jail terms of up to fifteen years.

Governments closely linked to Saudi Arabia and the UAE quickly expressed support for the blockade, including the Tobruk-based House of Representatives in Libya (one of the country’s warring governmental factions), the Saudi-backedAbed Rabbo Mansour Hadi government in Yemen, as well as the Comoros, Mauritania, and the Maldives

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