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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Qatar's glitzy bid to celebrate boycott anniversary slammed

The Qatar conflict has not only affected workers and families, it has also disrupted trade and delayed projects in Qatar where prices of food and other every day items registered a steep rise. -

  • Qatar attempts to celebrate the one year boycott by Gulf states with pomp.

It has now been one year since Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have boycotted Qatar, which failed to change its course and continues to support and fund terror outfits including the Muslim Brotherhood group.

The Qatar government's media arm Al Jazeera has been endlessly distorting facts and undermining the interests of its neighbours. Most analysts expect the Gulf crisis to remain there for a long time.

Analysts could not see any sign the crisis would be resolved sooner despite the pressure exerted by the US administration to settle the simmering issue between its Gulf allies.

The Quartet - Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt - is still awaiting Qatar's response to its 13 demands, which are rooted in the six basic principles announced earlier.

Those monitoring the Gulf crisis closely can see tension growing with both sides trading charges. Qatar tried to escape blame for funding terror groups in the region by signing an anti-terror agreement with the US. Yet, later Qatar was found supporting radical groups in different areas of the region, including Syria.

While Qatar's media claim Doha has changed its policy, it is seen standing by the Houthi militias in Yemen, dealing a blow to the efforts of the Arab coalition to restore legitimacy in Yemen.

The Qatari media has not been clear on issues related to role of Turkey and Iran in the region. Qatar appears to endorse Iran policies that fund the militias in Arab countries and reek of open hostility to the GCC states.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash on his Twitter account said he was informed by a Western journalist that Press delegations are heading to Doha on paid leave to attend Qatar's celebrations to mark one year of boycott.

"Stay as you are", Gargash said, adding that the Gulf crisis is not yet over since Qatar failed to address the reasons for this crisis; rather it focused on media and celebrations.

The key lesson gained from a year of boycott is that the Qatari rulers are placing their impossible political ambitions above the interests of their people, Gargash added.

Dr AbdulKhaleq Abdullah, a retired Professor of Political Science at UAE University, pointed out that the Gulf crisis may continue for more than a year. He said over 30 million GCC citizens feel sorry and hope this crisis would ends soon.

Abdullah said the key country to be blamed for the Gulf crisis is Qatar and its approach. It could have been more rational and should have met the demands set by the GCC states, he added.

Qatar must not fund and support a group that is deemed to be a terror outfit by other GCC states, he said.

Bahraini writer Sawsan Al Shaaer says Qatar is spending tonnes of money to create a media hype on the anniversary of the boycott. The plan includes TV and press interviews, talk shows, documentaries and planting news articles in local and foreign newspapers.

She said that Qatar has no option but to rely on media to misrepresent facts. Qatar will work overtime to destroy any Arab or Islamic coalition that is led by Saudi Arabia, or any philanthropic work led by the UAE, as the UAE did in Socotra, Sudan, Malaysia, and Yemen by sending relief materials there.

Qatar could spend billion of dollars to spoil any kind of cooperation or alliance between Saudi Arabia and other countries without due consideration to the Arab nationalism or security of the Arab region.

Back in 2014, Amir of Qatar Shaikh Tamim bin Hamad signed the Riyadh agreement on non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries and to cease provocative broadcasts by Qatar's media against its neighbours.

Qatar also pledged to stop funding the Yemeni factions, which pose a threat to the regional security. It promised to stop the incendiary media campaigns against Egypt and threatening its stability and security by funding and assisting the Muslim Brotherhood group. This agreement clearly states that breaching a single clause is deemed a breach of the entire agreement.

The last clause of the agreement stipulates that in the event of not observing this agreement, other GCC states may do what it takes to maintain GCC's stability and security.

Therefore, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt decided to sever ties with Qatar on June 5, 2017, in line with the clauses of the Riyadh agreement 2014.

It has become evident that all measures taken by the four countries boycotting Qatar had a legal ground, and the 13 demands sought by the Quartet serve as a foundation for a political settlement with Qatar.

The GCC stand on the Gulf crisis was unanimous and collective. A year after the boycott, no tangible change in the Qatari behaviour is seen. The quartet is determined to continue the boycott until Qatar changes its policies even if it takes a decade.

The boycott decision and its aftermath

The year that passed by has seen many international efforts to make Qatari rulers see wisdom. But all have come to a nought. Here is a detailed timeline of the events.

2017-18 Qatar diplomatic crisis

June 5, 2017

Seven Arab states snap relations with Qatar, recalling diplomats and citizens, and halting flights over claims it supports extremism.

> UAE suspends Qatar flights.

The UAE gives Qatari residents and visitors 14 days - starting from June 5 - to leave the country for precautionary security reasons.

> Yemen's internationally recognised government cut ties with Qatar.

> Saudi Arabia bans all Qatari planes from its airports, airspace.

> Qatar Airways suspends flights to UAE, Egypt, Bahrain.

> Qatar's beIN Sports blocked in the UAE.

June 6 June, 2017

> US President Donald Trump throws his weight behind efforts to isolate Qatar, backing Saudi Arabia and its allies.

> UAE demands guarantees before mending Qatar ties.

> Bahrain revokes Qatar Airways licences.

> Saudi Arabia revokes license of Qatar Airways, offices to close.

> DP World bans Qatar flag vessels from UAE ports.

June 7, 2017

Gulf states await Qatar response - Kuwait Amir holds talks in UAE over Gulf crisis.

> A Saudi minister says ball is now in Qatar court.

> Qatar hatched several plots to defame UAE.

>Jordan downgrades diplomatic relations with Qatar.

> Mauritania breaks diplomatic ties with Qatar.

> Comoros cuts diplomatic ties with Qatar.

> Djibouti downgrades diplomatic relations with Qatar.

> Qatar in talks with Turkey and Iran to provide food, water.

June 8, 2017

> Turkey's Grand National Assembly approves draft bill allowing the deployment of troop to a Turkish military base in Qatar.

> Chad recalls ambassador from Qatar amid Gulf row.

> No visa on arrival in UAE for Qatari expats.

> Emirates Post stops postal services to Qatar.

> UAE airspace closed for flights going to or from Qatar.

June 9, 2017

> Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain issue a list of Qatar-linked terrorist groups.

> UAE to freeze accounts, financial holdings of terrorists, terror organisations.

June 10, 2017

Niger recalls ambassador to Qatar.

June 11, 2017

>UAE sets up hotline for local families with Qatari members.

> Expats face trouble after Qatar exchange houses run out of dollars.

June 12, 2017

Chinese shipping firm suspended services to Qatar.

June 13, 2017

> Non-Qatari flights can fly over UAE to Doha. Saudi minister says there is no blockade of Qatar, they are free to go.

June 14, 2017

UAE bans selling, subscription of beIN Sports receivers, cards.

June 16, 2017

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister says a list of grievances involving Qatar is being drawn up and will be presented soon.

17 June, 2017

> Qatari official conspires against Bahrain in leaked call.

> Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera says the Twitter account for its main Arabic-language channel has been suspended.

June 18, 2017

Bahrain orders Qatari troops serving with a coalition fighting the Daesh group to leave its territory.

June 23, 2017

Arab nations issue a list with 13 demands to Qatar to end crisis - insisting it should shut Al Jazeera, cut back diplomatic ties to Iran and close down a Turkish military base in Qatar.

June 28, 2017

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir says there would be no negotiations over demands by the kingdom and other Arab states for Qatar to stop supporting terrorism.

June 30, 2017

Several UK banks stop selling Qatar riyals as diplomatic crisis mounts.

July 2, 2017

Qatar rejects demands from Arab countries.

July 3, 2017

Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt accept an Amir of Kuwait's request to extend deadline for Qatar.

> Qatar bans its citizens, residents from leaving country.

July 4, 2017

Qatar hands its response to a list of demands by Saudi Arabia and its allies to the Amir of Kuwait.

July 5, 2017

> UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt issue a joint statement after Qatar's reply.

> Moody's downgrades Qatar's rating outlook to negative.

July 12, 2017

The four Arab nations boycotting Qatar said that a Memorandum of Understanding Doha has signed with Washington to curb funding of terrorism is not enough.

July 14, 2017

An ex-Muslim Brotherhood member says that Qatar plotted to destabilise UAE.

July 18, 2017

UAE rejects allegations of hacking Qatari news agency.

> Egypt insists Qatar meets list of demands, sanctions to remain.

July 19, 2017

Egypt announces end to visa-free entry for Qatari nationals.

July 20, 2017

Qatari pilgrims welcomed in Saudi Arabia for Haj.

July 22, 2017

The UAE terms the changes to Qatar anti-terror law 'positive'.

> US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says he's satisfied with Qatar's efforts to resolve the crisis.

> Sky News exposes Qatar links to 9/11 attackers.

July 29, 2017

New documentary reveals Doha's secret files to sabotage Gulf region.

July 31, 2017

Arab nations grant 9 emergency routes for Qatari planes.

August 9, 2017

Moody's downgrades Qatari banks and questions Doha's ability to support country's banks.

August 11, 2017

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) issues a series of resolutions regarding a complaint filed by Qatar against the four boycotting nations.

August 17, 2017

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, opens Saudi border for Qatar's Haj pilgrims. Qatar's Sheikh Abdullah thanks the Saudi king for opening the border for Haj pilgrims.

August 27, 2017

Standard and Poor's affirms Qatar's negative outlook and predicts slower growth for Doha due to GCC boycott.

September 9, 2017

The Amir of Qatar calls the Saudi Crown Prince and shows a desire for talks.

September 13, 2017

Qatari action to revoke the citizenship of chief of Al Murrah tribe, Talib bin Lahoom bin Shuraim, along with 50 people of his family and clan, sparks widespread anger across GCC states.

September 16, 2017

A top court upholds a life sentence against Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Mursi on charges stemming from a trial over spying for Qatar.

September 19, 2017

Qatar Insurance Company says its Abu Dhabi branch will shut because it could not renew its licence.

September 30, 2017

20 members of Qatar's ruling family jailed for dissent.

October 15, 2017
Sheikh Sultan bin Suhaim Al Thani family say Qatari authorities have frozen his bank accounts over his role in Doha's crisis with its neighbours.

October 19, 2017
Qatari security forces raid the palace of Sheikh Sultan bin Suhaim Al Thani in Doha and confiscate documents and memorabilia belonging to his father.

November 29, 2017

UAE accuses Qatar of being behind a call for the International Criminal Court to investigate allegations of war crimes by the UAE in Yemen.

January 12, 2018

UAE denies Qatar's accusation that its fighter aircraft violate Qatari airspace in December. Doha had complained to the United Nations about the incident.

January 15, 2018

UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority says Qatar's military aircraft intercept two civilian UAE planes on their way to Bahrain.

> UAE denies Qatar's accusation that its fighter aircraft violate Qatari airspace in December. Doha had complained to the UN about the incident.

January 18, 2018

UAE files a complaint with the UN over Qatar's interception of two passenger planes en route to Bahrain.

January 31, 2018

UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt condemn a report by the UN Commission on Human Rights whose members visited Qatar in November 2017 as misleading.

March 27, 2018

UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) condemns Qatar's fighter jets that approach two UAE registered civil planes in a 'dangerous manner'.

April 22, 2018

Civil Aviation Authority of UAE announces it is filing a complaint with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) after Qatari fighter jets intercept a UAE civilian plane.

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