Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Yemen and Egypt severed ties with Qatar on Monday morning, following a diplomatic rift in the Gulf region in recent weeks.
The Arab country of Qatar has now been diplomatically boycotted by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates. These regional neighbors after having been subject to what Saudi Arabia has called “serious and systematic violations committed by the authorities in Doha” have chosen to sever ties with Qatar in an effort to retaliate against supposed threats from the country. Qatar which has had a history of supporting Islamist militant groups has condemned the actions pronouncing that they “no basis in fact”.
Nonetheless all said Arab countries have closed air borders with the country, with Saudi Arabia closing its land border; all severely impacting Qatar’s much needed regional imports.
Why this means trouble for Doha
Qatar is in severe crisis. The involvement it has allegedly had with organizations such as Hamas and the Taliban has finally come back to bite the country in such a way that it can no longer claim non-involvement. These 5 countries going out of their way to sever ties with Doha sets a precedent that no country is safe from the diplomatic backlash.
Qatar’s actions are no longer hidden from the public eye. Increased pressure from the international system will surely be put on them and the country will have to prove itself guiltless of the charges these 5 states have alleged against it. Besides the obvious economic setbacks these sanctions might have, the bigger impact these diplomatic rifts pose lie in the credibility of Qatar in the international world.
With other Arab countries acknowledging and going out of their way to highlight Qatar’s supposed terrorist links, the country more than ever faces a threat of international action being taken against them.
With terrorist threats and the rise of militant Islam becoming momentous issues in the international sphere, allegations against Qatar will severely impact its perception in the world. Whether action comes in the form of further sanctions or intervention is not known yet, but without Qatar taking reasonable precautions it is safe to assume that it will be facing a diplomatic crisis.
Qatar moving forward
With these regional states severing ties with the country, Qatar now needs to clear the air. Without the country going out of its way to condemn the accusations of the 5 Arab countries, public image of Qatar will plummet in such a way that it will have no other choice but to outright prove its innocence.
With more international attention being put on Doha’s alleged connections with controversial organizations, Qatar needs to explicitly condemn all Islamist groups. Without clear disapproval of these militant organization, Qatar will be at risk of becoming synonymous with many of the same factions that it has alleged dealing with. The country needs to separate itself from these groups while at the same promoting stability in the region and increased cooperation with the same Arab states that it has been boycotted by.
Qatar to win back the diplomatic ties of the Arab states will need to distance themselves with Islamist groups— or at least be seen doing so, while also mending the ties that have been severed by its neighbors. , the country to needs to fix its public image, — but whether it can be fixed is up to the international public.