Nytt

Bildet: Emiren av Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. Foto: Faisal al Nasser/Reuters/Scanpix

Fire land, Saudi-Arabia, Bahrain, Emiratene og Egypt har brutt de diplomatiske forbindelsene med Qatar og innstilt fly og skipstrafikk. Alle Qatar-borgere må forlate landene innen 14 dager.

Disse landene mener at Qatar støtter terror, herunder IS og Det muslimske Brorskap. Mer nærliggende er nok anklagene om at Qatar ikke er til å stole på i forhold til Iran. Saudi-Arabia mener å ha funnet bevis for at Qatar støtter Houthi-militsen i Jemen, som Saudi-Arabia fører krig mot.

Det er et dramatisk brudd mellom Golf-land som hittil har nytt godt av visumfrihet.

In separate statements Monday, the Arab countries announced that in addition to severing ties, they would close off air and sea routes to Qatar, and bar Qatar from using their airspace and territorial waters. The Persian Gulf countries said Qatari diplomats had 48 hours to leave. Egypt’s government confirmed Egypt’s severing of relations, citing Qatar’s “hostile attitude toward” Cairo and support for terrorist groups, “especially the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood.”

Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E. and Bahrain said their citizens were barred from traveling to Qatar and barred Qataris from their countries and required Qatari visitors and residents to leave within 14 days. The abrupt steps ended the freedom of movement citizens of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, or GCC, have long enjoyed.

USA er involvert. Deres største base i Midtøsten ligger i Qatar og den 5. flåte har hjemmehavn i Bahrain.

Landene hevder at Qatars nyhetsbyrå gjenga uttalelser fra sheiken av Qatar som viser at han støtter Iran. Qatar sier nyhetsbyrået var hacket.

Tensions rose late last month, when Qatar’s official news agency posted comments, purportedly by its emir, that praised Iran and called Hamas the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Iran is Saudi Arabia’s main rival for power and influence in the Middle East, while Hamas is a Palestinian Islamist group that Saudi Arabia and its allies oppose.

Qatar later said the emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, never made the comments and that its state news agency had been hacked. Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Bahrain and Egypt blocked the websites of several Qatari news outlets anyway, including Al Jazeera.

Konflikten går ut over al-Jazeera, som finansieres av Qatar. Da al-Jazeera ble lansert var det en pan-arabisk kanal. Den tok muslimenes side mot Vesten og Israel. Nå har de sekteriske stridighetene nådd kanalen, og utstøtelsen av Qatar vil ramme al-Jazeera.

Qatar har satset på å bli en hub i regionen, et senter for investeringer, diplomati og turisme. Hamas-lederen Khaled Mashaal fikk bo der.

The country of just 2.26 million has built itself into a travel hub in recent years, upgrading the Doha airport and positioning its national carrier, Qatar Airways, as a major player in international travel. Many flights from Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E. and Bahrain transit through the country.

Formelt er Qatar medlem av alliansen som fører krig mot Houthi.militsen. Nå har Saudi-Arabia kastet Qatar ut. Det later til å være vanskelig å mekle mellom partene. For Riyadh er det enten eller.

Egypt er en spesiell historie: Qatar støttet Det muslimske Brorskap og det oppfattet Egypt som direkte undergravende.

Energy-rich Qatar hasn’t always been on the same side as fellow Persian Gulf states or Egypt. It has used its financial muscle to back political Islam across the region. That has included throwing its support behind the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in the aftermath of the Arab Spring in 2011 and hosting former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal.

Such stances have put it at odds with Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood has been outlawed following a military coup in 2013, and with Persian Gulf monarchies that see Islamism as a threat to their ruling systems. Qatar also supports an Islamist coalition in Libya that opposes the forces Gulf countries and Egypt support in the eastern part of the country.

“Cairo has long held that Qatar is working to undermine Egypt’s stability and backing local terrorists,” says Timothy Kaldas, a nonresident fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy.

Qatar støtter dessuten islamist-regjeringen i Libya. Det oppfatter også Egypt som en trussel.

Også de andre landene har støttet terror. Det er ikke noe nytt. Men anklagen brukes nå som politisk våpen.

Spørsmålet er om Donald Trumps reise til Riyadh og tale til de islamske landene ble oppfattet som et frikort til Saudi-Arabia.

Rex Tillerson lovet å megle da han var i Australia.

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/saudi-arabia-bahrain-and-uae-cut-diplomatic-ties-with-qatar-1496633817