Related to the blockade applied against Qatar on 2017, June 05th, by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, there have some attempts taking place to end the issue. The talks were held in connection with the recent political changes in the United States.

In this context, it would be well to re-examine the events surrounding the announcement of the embargo against Qatar and how Qatar faced it.

Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani became the Emir of Qatar after His father Sheikh Khalifa on June 27, 1995. The Crowned Emir, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Khalifa Al Thani commenced a series of development activities and initiatives.

An establishment named ‘Qatar Foundation for Education’ was founded in 1995 by Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani together with His wife Sheikha Mosa Bint Nasser.

The President, Sheikha Mossa Bint Nasser has spearheaded the Qatar Foundation’s efforts to bring Qatar to the forefront of education, science and cultural development at the local and global levels.

Followed by many world-famous Universities such as ‘Virginia Commonwealth University’, the ‘Weill Cornell Medicine’, ‘Texas A&M University’, ‘Carnegie Mellon University’ and ‘Northwestern University’ arrived in Qatar under the banner of ‘Qatar Foundation’. With this, Qatar made a huge leap in the field of education.

As part of the move to lead Qatar to democracy, it allowed municipal elections ahead of parliamentary elections and increased media freedom. To this end, a new constitution was adopted in April 2003 and came into force in June 2005.

The appointment of a woman to the post of Minister of Education at the beginning of the 2003 decisions was a significant development.

One of Qatar’s highlights was the hosting of the 2006 Asian Games. It was the first time a Gulf country had hosted it. It is commendable that Qatar defeated Saudi Arabia in an attempt to host the 2030 Asian Games. Hosting of the 2022 World Cup is another achievement.

The government launched a program titled ‘Qatar National Vision 2030’ in 2008, paving the way for Qatar’s long-term development, the well-being of its people and the advancement of its community.

As a result of these decisions and programs, several developments have taken place in Qatar’s infrastructure and policies.

In June 2013, Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani announced his decision to hand over power to His Heir. And then, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani became the new Emir of Qatar. Under His rule, Qatar made great strides in the path of development.

At the same time, Qatar has always maintained good relations with its neighbours.

The events were staged unexpectedly on June 5, 2017!

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Qatar. Saudi Arabia then closed its borders with Qatar. The other three countries imposed a land, sea and air embargo on Qatar.

Qatar was isolated with the blockade that occurred without warning. Qatar’s relations with foreign countries have become difficult. The crisis commenced on June 5, 2017, but the path to it had started a few days ago.

The incident came just two days after US President Donald Trump met Arab and Muslim leaders in Riyadh:

On May 23, 2017, the website of the Qatar State News Agency was hacked and hackers posted false statements in the name of the Emir of Qatar.

False remarks praising Iran and criticizing US foreign policy were broadcast on several UAE and Saudi-owned television networks.

Authorities in Saudi Arabia and the UAE also blocked Al Jazeera’s website on May 24, 2017.

On the one hand, Saudi Arabia claims that Qatar supports Iran, as well as Qatar provides financial support to Sunni extremists fighting against Iran!

Qatar verbally criticized the blockade. The Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs faced the ban, arguing that it undermined Qatar’s sovereignty. Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed Bin Abdul-Rahman Al-Thani said the Saudi statements about Qatar were contradictory.

The Gulf Countries involved in the declaration have asked their citizens to leave Qatar.

Three Gulf countries (Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain) have given Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave their countries. The foreign ministries of Bahrain and Egypt have given Qatari diplomats 48 hours to leave their countries.

Kuwait and Oman remained neutral on this occasion.

On June 7, Jordan announced the end of diplomatic relations with Qatar and the closure of Al Jazeera’s channel offices in Amman.

Kuwaiti mediators arrived in Riyadh for reconciliation talks. Saudi Arabia presented a list of demands to the mediators:

The list, which contained conditions that called into question the independence and sovereignty of a country, was not entirely acceptable to Qatar.

These are the main demands put forward by Saudi Arabia.

Shut down Al Jazeera and all affiliated stations. Shut down the Turkish military base under construction in Qatar and cease all military cooperation with Turkey. Downgrade diplomatic relations with Iran, expel Iranian military representatives from Qatar, and limit economic cooperation. Shut down all news outlets funded directly and indirectly by Qatar.

The main condition was to make an agreement with Qatar and a schedule for reporting on progress and to be submitted monthly for a year, quarterly for the second year, and annually for 10 years.

Mainly Qatar importing most of the raw materials, foodstuffs, medicine and dairy products from neighboring Saudi Arabia and the UAE. In this case, the prohibitions imposed by neighboring countries through blockade brought Qatar to an emergency.

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, faced this situation more strongly in a way that the neighbors could never have been imagined. The expatriates gave their full support to the Emir for the actions taken to control the situation.

Sudden rise in the price of goods happened because of the import of daily necessities from countries like India and Turkey by overcoming the defensive conditions.

Normal life of the residents made difficultly with the hike in the price of daily needs, even though, every resident in the country including expatriates cooperated with Government.

The Emir’s strong decisions and preparations to make Qatar a self-sufficient country soon began to bear fruit. Every resident of Qatar, including foreigners, supported and cooperated with the government.

Everyone has faced this adverse situation together with the government, regardless of whether they are nationals or foreigners. As a resident of Qatar, I have experienced these situations firsthand.

The intent of neighbouring countries to impose such a defence can deduce through the terms that they demanded. However, Qatar did not respond to them and moved on with the solution to the immediate problems.

It is commendable that the government has quickly brought this situation under control under the guidance of the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Bin Hamad Al Thani through appropriate decisions.

This made it clear to everyone that Qatar has a powerful ruler. Later it was seen that the losses incurred by the country due to the prohibition were turning into profitable ones.

The truth is that rivals did not expect everything to be under control in a few months. Oman, Kuwait, India and Turkey have given their full support to the import of food and other raw materials.

Qatar’s new project ‘Made in Qatar’ launches for the production of raw materials, medicine, dairy products and food items in the country. India also benefited from the significant increase in exports to Qatar during this period.

It has been years since its creators were in the dark, unable to achieve its true goal through siege! Do not know what the current efforts are for, but it will come out soon enough!

The stage becomes empty without actors, the director also retired from the show, but the audience is still waiting for the next scene!

“Request you to write your valuable comments below”


Ignatius Variath