Anti-Qatar banners in protests outside the UN HQ in NY on Sept. 19, 2017 - Egypt Today
CAIRO – 6 June 2018: One year ago, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain decided to cut ties with the oil-rich state of Qatar over accusations of funding terrorism and harboring extremists and wanted-terrorists; charges which Qatar has denied.
The Arab quartet issued 13 demands to Doha – then shortened to six principles – which included turning down the provocative voice of its news channel, Al-Jazeera, curbing relations with Iran, and not intervening in the domestic issues of Arab nations.
Despite all the diplomatic efforts to end the crisis, a solution has not been reached yet and the crisis is still ongoing without a quick fix to the spat. The Gulf states need a clear signal that Qatar is willing to reexamine its position regarding extremism and terrorism.
Egypt Today sheds light on key developments in the Arab-Qatari rift, that erupted on June 5, 2017.
June 2017: The Arab quartet announced their diplomatic and transport boycott of Doha. The move had an immediate impact on business and trade deals between the four Arab countries and Qatar.
In a quick development the same day, Qatari nationals were given 14 days to leave Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain.
Several Egyptian banks announced plans to suspend dealings with Qatari banks, and Qatar’s stock market index sank 7.3 percent on June 5, 2017.
Jordan also announced it would downgrade its diplomatic representation with Qatar and revoked the license of the Doha-based Al Jazeera TV channel on June 6.
Governments in Yemen, the Maldives, Libya, Mauritania and the Union of Comoros also announced they were cutting ties with Qatar.
Kuwait’s ruler Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah began mediation efforts to solve the crisis among the Arab countries and called on all the involved states to overcome the diplomatic dispute.
Additionally, Kuwait and France intensified their efforts to resolve the Gulf crisis between Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain on one side and Qatar on the other. Hence, the French foreign minister headed to Doha, while the Kuwaiti Emir headed to the United States.
July 2017: On July 25, the Arab Quartet added nine individuals and nine entities to their terrorist list, including three Yemeni and six Libyan associations, stressing that "these new measures come within the framework of monitoring the counter terrorism approach that the four Arab nations determined."
Turkish President RecepTayyipErdogan paid a visit in July 2017, to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar to wade deeper in the Gulf crisis and to declare his willingness to contribute in solving the crisis.
Ankara has been a strong ally to Qatar since it was isolated by the four nations. Turkey has shipped food to Qatar and expanded its military presence there. However, Turkish mediation was excluded because of the unwavering, expanded support it has extended to Doha and due to its stance on the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.
September 2017: Qatar’s stock index fell to a five-year low after as shares of Qatar Insurance dropped 2.3 percent after the company said it is closing its Abu Dhabi branch.
In addition, U.S. President Donald Trump declared his willingness to step in and mediate the worst dispute in decades among the U.S.-allied Arab states and Qatar.
October 2017: Bahrain openly called for Qatar's membership of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to be suspended until it accepts the Arab Quartet's demands.
November 2017: King Mohammed VI of Morocco offered to mediate in order to resolve the unprecedented Gulf crisis during his visit to Qatar. Moroccan mediation started on November 13, 2017, according to Sputnik News agency.
The Arab Quartet added two entities and 11 individuals to its terror list. The quartet issued a statement naming both entities' The International Islamic Coordinating Council (IICC) and the World Union for Muslim Scholars, as terrorist organizations, in addition to 11 other individuals.
December 2017: Despite the June-row between Qatar and three Gulf states and Egypt, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani took part in the (GCC) summit in Kuwait last December, while the Saudi, Bahraini and Emirati emirs did not.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain sent ministers or deputy prime ministers to attend the (GCC) summit which is usually attended by heads of states.
March, 2018 On March 22, Qatar announced it had designated 28 people and entities as “terrorists”, including several Qatari nationals already blacklisted by the Anti-Terrorism Quartet (ATQ) of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain.
The Qatari list also included eight entities, including the Islamic State's Sinai Province in Egypt and Al-Ihsan Charitable Society in Yemen. Al-Ihsan is a charitable organization, allegedly led by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and supported by Abdullah Mohammed al-Yazidi.
According to Qatari Leaks, named on the new Qatari list were two Qatari citizens who were described by the boycotting countries as financiers of the militant Nusra Front group fighting in Syria.
Qatar had listed 13 alleged al Qaeda and Daesh militants in October in a joint move with the United States and five other Gulf Arab states, including the boycotters.
April, 2018 Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and U.S. President Trump agreed in a phone call that the six countries of the GCC “can and should do more to increase coordination with each other and with the United States,” the White House said in a statement.
May, 2018 A report by Qatar’s Tourism Authority showed that the number of travellers who visited Qatar declined by 38 percent to 535,300 in the first quarter of 2018, from 864,440 in the first quarter of the previous year, Mubasher said, citing figures from the Tourism Authority, according to Reuters.