Qatar–Saudi Arabia diplomatic conflict

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Qatar-Saudi Arabia diplomatic conflict
Part of the Arab Spring, Arab Winter, Iran-Saudi Arabia proxy conflict and Qatar diplomatic crisis
MENA, especially Egypt, Yemen, Syria and Libya (besides Qatar and Saudi Arabia)

Diplomatic relations between Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been strained from 2014 onwards, with its peak being the Qatar diplomatic crisis of 2017.[1]

History[change | change source]

19th century[change | change source]

During the first half of the 19th century, the Qatari peninsula was claimed alternatively by the House of Thani, House of Saud and House of Khalifa.[2] On September 12, 1868, a declaration of Arab maritime peace, drafted by Sir Lewis Pelly was re-signed and re-affirmed. For the first time, Mohammed bin Thani, leader of the Guttur tribes,[2] was asked to sign too, a move widely seen as the first international recognition of the sovereignty of Qatar.[3]

20th century[change | change source]

Qatar (Blue) and Parties severing diplomatic relations with Qatar during Qatar diplomatic crisis (red). Click on the countries highlighted in red for more information

In 1968, the British Government announced its plans to withdraw troops from "East of Suez" , leaving behind the seven Trucial Sheikhdoms, Bahrain and Qatar.[4] After these plans were announced by the British Prime Minister Harold Wilson on 16 January 1968,[5] attempts were made for the creation of a federation of Arab Emirates.[4] In a summit with the Sheikhs of Qatar, Bahrain, and the seven Trucial Sheikhdoms, the declaration of union for a federation with nine rulers, proposed by the Qatari government, was approved.[6] After multiple disputes,[7] Qatar declared its independence on September 1, 1971, and became the second independent Gulf Sheikhdom, after Bahrain.[8] Shortly after, on September 5, 1971, the United States recognized Qatar as an Independent State, beginning diplomatic relations on March 19, 1972.[9]

In a move supported financially, politically and militarily by Saudi Arabia, Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani deposed Ahmad bin Ali on February 22, 1972. The new leadership could rely on continued support from Saudi Arabia, as the House of Thani (the ruling family of Qatar) had been supported by the House of Saud (the ruling family of Saudi Arabia) since the beginning of Wahhabism.[10]

In the 1995 Qatari coup d'état, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani seized power from his father, Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, and transformed Qatar into a rival of Saudi Arabia.[11] Under Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani's rule, Al Jazeera was founded, a Qatari government-funded international Arabic-language news channel.[12]

21st century[change | change source]

In preparation of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Qatar opened the Al Udeid Air Base in 2002, hosting United States Air Force personnel.[13] As Saudi Arabia objected against having the base on their land, this move is seen as pivotal in turning Qatar into a strategic partner of the United states and a rival of Saudi Arabia.[14]

Political tensions[change | change source]

Diplomatic relations were cut for five years between 2002 and 2008 after Saudi Arabia removed their ambassador from Qatar.[15] In the midst of the Arab Spring, Qatar's pro-Arab Spring policies resulted in resistance from other member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council. In March 2014, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates removed their ambassadors from Qatar - a move not seen before in the history of the GCC.[16] In November 2014 the ambassadors returned to Doha, Qatar.[16]

The Qatar diplomatic crisis started in June 2017 when Saudi Arabia, along with Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed diplomatic relations and blocked all entries to Qatar via air, sea or land.[17] Saudi Arabia's severing of diplomatic ties was based upon the accusation that Qatar supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and that the Al Jazeera news coverage interfered with internal affairs, undermining authority.

Saudi Arabia led the coalition against Qatar and issued an ultimatum with a list of 13 demands for Qatar.[18] Qatar dismissed the demands, but through Kuwait as mediator dialogue was opened.[19]

Diplomatic relations were restored in Januray 2021, after a blockage of more than three years, resolving the Gulf crisis.[20] The conflict was mediated though joint efforts by Kuwait and the United States through drafting of a resolution.[21] On 16 January 2021, Saudi Arabia announced it would open their embassy in Doha within days.[22]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Alishahi, Abdolreza, and Younes Forouzan. "Studying political relations between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, From explaining convergence to political gap (from the Islamic awakening to the crisis cut off political relations in June 2017)." Strategic Studies of public policy 7.24 (2017): 49-72.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Serim (2014-10-16). "The Emergence of Qatar: Pelly's Role in Britain's 1868 Recognition of the State". Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  3. "Sheikh Mohammed Bin Thani | The Amiri Diwan". Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Lee, John (Nov 29, 1970). "Unity Eludes Nine Persian Gulf Sheikdoms". The New York Times. p. 2. Retrieved March 6, 2022.
  5. Heard-Bey, Frauke (1982). From Trucial States to United Arab Emirates: A Society in Transition. the University of Michigan: Longman. pp. 337. ISBN 0582780322.
  6. Zahlan, Rosemarie (1979). The Creation of Qatar. Barnes & Noble Books. p. 104. ISBN 978-0064979658.
  7. Zahlan, Rosemarie (1979). The Creation of Qatar. Barnes & Noble Books. p. 105. ISBN 978-0064979658.
  8. "Sheikdom of Qatar Declares Independence From Britain". The New York Times. Sep 2, 1971. p. 3. Retrieved March 6, 2022.
  9. "Qatar - Countries - Office of the Historian". Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  10. Toth, Anthony (2002). Metz, Helem Chapin (ed.). Qatar, a country study (PDF). Blackmask Online. p. 32.
  11. Fisher, Max (2017-06-13). "How the Saudi-Qatar Rivalry, Now Combusting, Reshaped the Middle East". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  12. "AL JAZEERA TV: The History of the Controversial Middle East News Station Arabic News Satellite Channel History of the Controversial Station". Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  13. "US paves way for war on Iraq". the Guardian. 2002-03-27. Retrieved 2022-05-18.
  14. Jul 24, Adam Ettelbrick on; 2018. "Qatar Begins Expansion of Al Udeid, Air Base the U.S. Uses to Fight ISIL". American Security Project. Retrieved 2022-05-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  15. "Saudi ambassador returns to Qatar after 5-yr gap". Reuters. 2008-03-09. Retrieved 2022-05-17.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Hassan, Islam (March 2015). "GCC's 2014 Crisis: Causes, Issues and Solutions". Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar: 78.
  17. Albasoos, Hani; Hassan, Gubara; Zadjali, Sara Al (2021-02-11). "The Qatar crisis: Challenges and opportunities". International Journal of Research in Business and Social Science (2147- 4478). 10 (1): 158–167. doi:10.20525/ijrbs.v10i1.1013. ISSN 2147-4478. S2CID 233264209.
  18. "Arab states issue ultimatum to Qatar: close Jazeera, curb ties with Iran". Reuters. 2017-06-23. Retrieved 2022-05-19.
  19. "GCC Crisis". Government Communications Office. Retrieved 2022-05-19.
  20. "Qatar crisis: Saudi Arabia and allies restore diplomatic ties with emirate". BBC News. 2021-01-05. Retrieved 2022-05-19.
  21. "Kuwait, Gulf nations, US signal progress to resolve Qatar crisis". Kuwait Times. 2020-12-04. Retrieved 2022-05-19.
  22. "Saudi to reopen Qatar embassy in coming days: Saudi minister". Reuters. 2021-01-16. Retrieved 2022-05-19.