Jun 5 2017
IS DONALD TRUMP the reason four Arab nations cut ties with the Muslim Brotherhood-linked nation of Qatar?
Several Gulf states have cut ties with Qatar after Trump blasted Hamas for its terror activities during his visit to Saudi Arabia and after Qatar failed to heed the Saudi request to deport Hamas head Khaled Meshaal. For Americans, this could mean an end to the much-maligned ‘Common Core’ program for schools, of which Qatar is the major funder. Hopefully, it will also mean that the Muslim Brotherhood – parent of fundamentalist Islamic groups like CAIR, ISNA, ICNA, and NAIT in the U.S – finally will be designated a terrorist organization by the Trump Administration.
As Bloomberg reports, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt cut off most diplomatic and economic ties to Qatar, in an unprecedented move designed to punish one of the region’s financial superpowers for its ties with Iran and Islamist groups in the region.
Oil gained and Qatari stocks plunged after the four nations said they will suspend air and sea travel to and from the Gulf emirate. Saudi Arabia will also shut land crossings with its neighbor, potentially depriving the emirate of imports through its only land border. Qatar called the accusations “baseless” and said they were part of a plan to “impose guardianship on the state, which in itself is a violation of sovereignty.”
The fallout from Monday’s shock move by four U.S. Arab allies to isolate Qatar over its ties to Iran was felt across the region on Monday, as flights were canceled and Qatari stocks plunged the most since 2009.
Saudi Arabia banned all Qatari planes from landing in the kingdom and will bar them from its airspace as of Tuesday, the official Saudi Press Agency reported. Abu Dhabi’s state-owned carrier Etihad Airways and Dubai’s Emirates said they would suspend all flights to and from Qatar’s capital, Doha, from Tuesday, along with the U.A.E.’s low-cost carriers Air Arabia and Flydubai.
Back in 2014, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Bahrain had already recalled their ambassadors from Qatar.
The decision by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt to punish the Gulf Cooperation Council member over its support for Islamic terrorist groups — as well as their key rival, Iran — pits some of the world’s richest nations in a struggle for regional dominance. Qatar’s population is smaller than Houston’s, but it has a sovereign wealth fund with stakes in global companies from Barclays Plc to Credit Suisse Group. It’s also a home to the forward headquarters of the U.S. military’s central command in the region.
The Saudis also accused Qatar of supporting “Iranian-backed terrorist groups” operating in the kingdom’s eastern province as well as Bahrain. Unfortunately for Qatar, the Saudis have a lot of cards to play. They control their only land border, so the peninsula can be effectively isolated. Their next closest neighbor along the coast is the United Arab Emirates, but they’ve joined in with the Saudis.
JPost Following the cutting of ties with Qatar, Israel will be much more willing to cooperate with Arab nations in the fight against Islamic terrorism.
Defense Minister Liberman and other Israeli officials said that the decision to sever ties with Qatar, a strong backbone of Mideast terror, opened a world of opportunities for collaboration. “Even Arab states understand that the risk to this region is not Israel, bur rather terrorism- this is an opportunity to collaborate,” he stated.
Speaking at the Knesset, Liberman said that countries that cut ties with Qatar out of fear of radical Islamic terrorism are actually enabling Israel to reach out to them to cooperate in the fight against terror. “I think Israel is open to cooperation,” the defense minister said. “The ball is in the others’ court,” he continued, implying that Israel would wait for other Arab countries to reach out to it following their abrupt decision Monday.
Michael Oren, a former Israeli ambassador to the US, said Monday that the decision of several Arab Muslim states to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar served as a “New line drawn in the Middle Eastern sand.”