Qatar isolation movement may backfire on Saudi and America

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11 Jun 2017: Last week Saudi Arabia and five of its allies cut diplomatic relations with Qatar. Saudis suspected Qatar of aiding Iran and helping Hezbolla resistance fighters in Palestine. Since then Saudi alliance has been warning Qatar to abandon support to terrorist groups. Saudis have produced a list with some 60+ names which they say received financial support from Qatar. Media sources have pointed some of the groups are in fact humanitarian groups working with international bodies such as the United Nations and Red Cross. While most of these groups are Qatari groups working inside Qatar the Saudis showed no proof that any of these  groups have involvement with terrorism.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (L) chats with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, June 2, 2017. Picture taken June 2, 2017. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (L) chats with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, June 2, 2017. Picture taken June 2, 2017. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

Led by Saudi Arabia other countries that cut political ties include the Maldives, Egypt, UAE, Yemen and Bahrain.

Following this political turmoil Saudi Kingdom and UAE has recently warned Qatar that there might be more sanctions if Qatar refuses to obey their demands. More specifically they mentioned economic sanctions.

Both UAE and Saudi have already banned Qatar flights from entering their air space. This mean Qatar owned airlines such as Qatar Airways will have to spend more time in flight as Saudi is a giant land mass next door to Qatar. Meanwhile Iran has allowed Qatar flights to pass through their air space, so flights bound to that direction will not be affected.

Qatar has vowed not to bow down to the demands of Saudi Arabia. This means Qatar will find other international players in the near future. There are 10,000 American troops based in Qatar. Therefore, there is nothing much American could do against Qatar. If it does anything significant it is most likely that these troops not only will have to leave, but it will be replace by Russian troops. Foreign troops to be based in Qatar is vital to protect its land from other Arab countries who otherwise might conquer Qatar at any time.

Qatar has one of the highest GDP Per Capita in the world. The land size is very small. Qatar’s wealth reserves amount to over $335 billion. This means Qatar could play a significant role in restoration of peace in Syria and in return get access to a bigger land to secure country’s interests. Russia is already playing a leading role in there. Eventually it makes a global coalition with Iran, Russia, Syria and Qatar. There may be other countries that might join, such as Turkey or Kuwait. American would have forecasted this outcome way on advance, therefore it is less likely that Americans would pull the string on Qatar any further. Instead Washington seems already playing a role to calm down Saudis.

There is a strong bond between American and Saudi Arabia. There seems to be many human rights violations happening in Saudi Arabia, but America is quiet and giving a blind eye while pressing hard on Iran where human rights is way better. Americans want oil from Saudi and Saudi wants to protect its rule of kingdom. So, it is a mutual bond that has been going on for decades. Saudis have always treated presidents of US like masters in front of slaves. There are many reports that suggest Saudi’s great influence and role on every American presidential election.

Now the Saudi – Qatar conflict is a new chapter in global politics. When a country cuts diplomatic ties and influences many other countries do so that is something of great magnitude. I believe Saudi Arabia wants to isolate Qatar and weaken its economy if not to conquer at some point of time. Even if Qatar submits to Saudi demands there won’t be any solution, Saudi’s will only push further and slowly take control of Qatar in the long run. So, Qataris know the game. They are not bowing down. Both sides will tighten the grip in the coming days, leading to more global economic problems.