Qatar Lesson Handout
CURRENT DIPLOMATIC STRUGGLES IN QATAR
RELIGION AND GOVERNMENT
THE LOW DOWN
- Being called the most serious crisis among Gulf States in decease
- Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and a number of other states are accusing Qatar of supporting terrorist forcers and cozying up to Iran, among other things
- Launched an air and sea blockade, expelled citizens from their countries
- There would be major consequences for the US as well as the region
- This is an extension of a conflict between the Qataris and its neighbors going back a couple of years
- There was an agreement in early 2014 that was supposed to settle the differences between Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, and other countries in the region.
- The Emiratis and Saudis believe the leader of Qatar never actually implemented this agreement
- Meaning, the Qataris are still hosting members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the leadership of Hamas
- Accused of terror financing
- Support Islamist elements within Libya
- Al-Jazeera continues its efforts to incite against the Saudi royal family and Emiratis
- The difference between the Qataris and its neighbors over the issue of Iran
- The Qataris believe that Iran is simply an issue which needs to be managed but not rolled back
- The Qataris are acting independently in the issue with Iran instead of working with Saudi Arabia and the Emirates
- Why such an issue with Iran?
- Iran has funded, armed, and trained terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror. Bolsters terrorist groups and speaks openly of mass murder and ruin of many nations
CURRENT DIPLOMATIC STRUGGLES IN QATAR
THE LOW DOWN
- The current diplomatic struggles in Qatar – specifically the struggle between Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates – is being called the most serious crisis among Gulf States in decades. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and a number of other states are accusing Qatar of supporting terrorist forces and getting too friendly and comfortable with Iran among other things. These Gulf States have launched air and sea blockades and expelled Qatari citizens from their countries. There is concern that this struggle will continue and grow more serious and have major consequences for the U.S. as well.
- This conflict is an extension of a conflict between the Qataris and its neighbors going back a couple of years. In early 2014 there was an agreement created which was supposed to settle the differences between Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and other countries in the region. (what was the agreement specifically? This agreement was created to ensure that sovereign GCC nations would be able to cooperate within a clear framework. ) The Emiratis and Saudis believe the leader of Qatar never actually implemented the agreement and are still hosting members of the Muslim Brotherhood and the leadership of Hamas. (what is hamas and the muslim brotherhood?) The Qataris are accused of terror financing and supporting Islamist elements within Libya.
- Hamas: a Palenstinian Islamist political organization and militant group that has waged war on Israel since the groups 1987 founding, most notably through suicide bombing and rocket attacks. It seeks to replace Israel with a Palestinian state.
- Hamas’ charter has long called for the destruction of Israel and has led the charge in using suicide bombings in Israel in the 1990s and 2000s.
- Muslim brotherhood: religiopolitical organization founded in 1928 at Ismailia, Egypt.
- Another struggle between the Qataris and its neighbors is the issue of Iran. Iran has funded, armed, and trained terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror as well as bolster terrorist groups, support Islamist elements within Libya, and speaks openly of mass murder and the ruin of many nations. The Qataris believe that Iran is simply an issue which needs to be managed but not entirely stopped in its tracks. Instead of working with Saudi Arabia and the Emirates to combat the issues surrounding Iran, the Qataris are acting independently with Iran.
HOW HAS THE U.S. RESPONDED TO THESE STRUGGLES
- The U.S. has allies on both sides of the disagreement in the Gulf States. We have a major military facility in Qatar as well as close and important diplomatic relations with Qatar and are also strong supporters of the Saudis and Emiratis. In regard to how the United States has played their role in this diplomatic struggle, we have given a somewhat contradictory and chaotic response. On one hand President Trump has appeared to support the blockade despite his avid praise of the closeness of the US relationship with Qatar, while on the other hand his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, made a statement calling for the easement of the blockade and finding a diplomatic solution.
- Trump want to take credit for toughness especially when along the lines of a policy that seems to reinforce what he’s trying to do – standing up to Iran and terror. Tillerson on the other hand understand the potential consequences for the United States in this conflict.
- Qatar has great financial resources and are determined to remain independent and keep their links with some of these groups, and are not inclined to bow out to the Saudis any time soon.
- Okay so why care?
Both sides of this conflict are pretty dug in If this does go on, there could be very negative consequences beyond the immediate ones that we’ve already seen. The economic costs and inconveniences for both sides – while not enormous, are significant. If Qatar is pushed away instead of pulled “into the fold” and get closer to Turkey and Iran and to extremist groups, then
there is an even greater geopolitical issue in the Middle East than what we started with.