Qatar has been boycotted by four Arab states for allegedly supporting and funding terrorism. The President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, accused Qatar of funding terrorism ‘at the highest level’ and also announced that he had been asked by his friends in the Arab governments to convey to Qatar that they should stop funding terrorism or else drastic measures would be taken.
United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Bahrain demanded the closing of the television channel Al-Jazeera which is one of the most popular news channels in Qatar. Also among the list of the demands was a direction to Qatar to reduce its ties to Iran and severe its ties totally with terrorist, ideological and sectarian organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaida, Islamic State, Hezbollah and JabhatFateh-al-Sham.
Qatar has also been directed to close the Turkish military base in Qatar. The Arab nations have also demanded of Qatar to surrender all designated terrorists that are on Qatari territory along with a reimbursement of all costs and damages that have occurred over the past few years because of Qatari policies. They have also demanded that Qatar should stop interfering in domestic and foreign affairs of the four countries and should stop giving Qatari nationality to the citizens of the four nations.
These demands by the four Arab nations to end the worst crisis in the Gulf States in years seem to negate a 20-year-old policy of Qatar to act as a peace broker in all conflicts in Muslim lands. Doha’s independent-mindedness, peaceful policies in regard to Iranian foreign affairs and support to Islamic groups like the Muslim Brotherhood are believed to be a few causes that threaten the dynasty rule in the neighboring countries through their Islamic politics.
The Arab nations accused Qatar of funding terrorism, agitating regional instability and cozying up to the revolutionary theocracy of Iran, all accusations that Qatar denied. Qatar had refused to comment earlier but the Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani spoke up on Monday that Qatar would not negotiate any demands by the Arab nations until they lift the sanctions that boycott Qatar. This boycott came into effect on June 5 when the Arab countries cut economic, diplomatic and travel ties with Qatar.
The Arab nations gave Qatar a time of 10 days to comply with their demands, failure of which would lead to the list of demands being deemed as ‘void’ and the offer to end the dispute in the Gulf region would no longer be on the table. If Qatar complies with their demands, the result of the agreement would be closely monitored monthly for the first year, quarterly for the next year and annually for the next decade.
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has offered his help to resolve the differences between all the parties involved in the conflict. Turkish President, Tayyip Erdogan, has also spoken with the leaders of Saudi Arabia to ease the tensions. However, Turkey has provided Qatar with their full support with a ship carrying food aid and a small contingent of soldiers and armored vehicles arriving in Qatar on Thursday.