The Saudi-led combine of Sunni-Arab states (including the UAE, Bahrain, Yemen and Egypt) has stunned the worldwide community with its coordinated severing of ties with its fellow GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) member and co-sectarian, Sunni-ruled sheikhdom of Qatar.
Saudi border guards have opened fire on an Iranian fishing boat in the Gulf, killing a fisherman, Iran’s Tasnim news agency said on Saturday, amid high tension between the two rival states. These actions began when the former emir, Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, staged a power grab – and they continue to this very day.
To understand what is going on and what triggered this latest crisis between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours, I reached out to Thomas Juneau, an assistant professor at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa and a Middle East expert.
There was no immediate indication over why they had been detained or if it directly concerned their reporting from the kingdom.
The Persian Gulf this month has been gripped by a crisis involving Qatar and several other countries that could see thousands of people forced to move and start new lives.
“Turkey may be seeing this as an opportunity to reassert itself”, Bowen said, especially after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent re-election.
To be sure, the deal was in the works well before the current crisis between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors.
The CBQ official said that the owners of Qatari companies were personally managing all matters by remaining in constant contact with Turkish companies to ensure immediate supply of quality food stuff to residents of Qatar.
Mr Cavusoglu said he told the Saudi king that “it would be useful now to soften the conditions” against Qatar. They also urged their own citizens in Qatar to leave and threatened imprisonment and fines for anyone who criticizes the measures.
Even though not partaking the boycott, the majority of the region’s countries agree that Qatar’s regime has crossed all red limits, causing grave destruction, threatening the region’s entire security and aiding terrorist groups and hostile countries like Iran.
Similarly, Qatar is hosting Taliban elements to push reconciliation between Taliban, Afghanistan and the USA government – though importantly, the move to allow the Taliban to open an “office” in Doha was done after a specific request was made to this effect by the US. Vessels are still taking on cargo from Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. after loading in Qatar, just as they were before the ban. One one hand, Qatar, Turkey’s 7th biggest investor past year, has direct investments in Turkey as high as 18 billion US dollars, while the value of the projects undertaken by Turkish construction companies in Qatar, which will host the 2022 World Cup, has reached about 8.5 billion USA dollars.