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Some resources for understanding the Qatar blockade

 

Not sure what is happening in Qatar and what it means for the US and global peace? You are not alone. Here is a quick list of articles that will give you some background and history so that you have a broader understanding of the situation and what it means for US foreign policy.

What happened? [ BBC, 6/5/2017 ]

“A number of Arab countries including Saudi Arabia and Egypt have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of destabilising the region.They say Qatar backs militant groups including so-called Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda, which Qatar denies. The Saudi state news agency SPA said Riyadh had closed its borders, severing land, sea and air contact with the tiny peninsula of oil-rich Qatar.”

What was the reaction in Qatar? [ Al-Jazeera, 6/52017 ]

“Reacting to the fallout, Qatar explained that the decision was in ‘violation of its sovereignty’, vowing to its citizens and hundreds of thousands of residents that the measures would not affect them.

‘The measures are unjustified and are based on claims and allegations that have no basis in fact,’ the statement said, adding that the decisions would “not affect the normal lives of citizens and residents.

‘The aim is clear, and it is to impose guardianship on the state. This by itself is a violation of its [Qatar’s] sovereignty as a state,’ it added.”

What does this mean for the US and the gulf region? [ USA Today, 6/5/2017 ]

“’It’s too early to say, but this can turn out to be a major problem for the U.S.,’ said Henri Barkey, director of the Middle East Program at the Wilson Center. ‘Coming after Trump’s much touted trip to the region it demonstrates how superficial his achievements were.’

Barkey also warned that the Qatar issue could complicate regional politics ‘as the Turks, Russians and certainly the Iranians will step into the fray creating new dynamics’ that likely won’t benefit the United States.”

Did Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia have anything to do with this? [New York Times, 6/5/2017]

“There was no other clear event in the region that might have precipitated the renewal of the campaign against Qatar. But it followed a recent visit to Saudi Arabia by Mr. Trump, who made clear that he strongly backed Saudi Arabia in its push against both Iran and against Muslim Brotherhood-style Islamist groups. Mr. Trump’s support may have helped encourage the other Sunni states to renew their campaign against Qatar as well.”

Where can I get updates? [ Al-Jazeera ]

Live blog of the situation and new developments.

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