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Non-Intervention and The Blockade of Qatar

Introduction:

Qatar is an Arabic country located in the Arabian Peninsula of Western Asia. It is a small country with larger neighbours like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and United Arab Emirates (UAE) as sharing a boundary. It is also a part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) with other countries of Western Asia.

Qatar nearby countries like UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt cut ties officially from Qatar on June 5, 2017. These countries boycotted Qatar from all access and resources by blockading through the air, water, or land traffic on the contention that they support terrorism and making a close relationship with Iran.[1] Qatar laid UAE into United Nations against racial discrimination and violating the human rights of Qataris nationals. Qatar aims to reach out to U.S. assistance to fight against the blockade.

Cause of Blockade:

The first and main cause of crisis between the Qatar government and other Middle East countries is Doha’s funding to some violent Islamic group, often they related to the Muslim Brotherhood.[2] These groups have been declared as terrorist groups by Saudi Arabia and the United States. The al-Jazeera, the Doha’s state news network channel also seemed to campaign the democracy of these groups by criticizing the leaders of Riyadh, Cairo, and Abu Dhabi.

The second cause of tension is Qatar’s diplomatic tie with Iran which united both countries through the world’s largest natural gas field. As there was a conflict between Saudi led Sunni and Iran lead Shia.

The third cause of tension is Qatar’s interference in their state’s affairs as they want security treaty from Qatar for non- interference in their countries’ internal matters. As before 2017, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Bahrain confiscated their diplomats from Qatar in March 2014.

Neighbour’s demand and Qatar’s response:

As we know Qatar’s neighbours cut ties on June 5, 2017, and send some list of demand. If they did not fulfil these terms then it will lead to a longer blockade on Qatar. The demands were: Cut diplomatic ties with Iran, stop serving terrorist organizations, wind up all Qatar funded and al- Jazeera news network, pay compensation caused by Qatar’s policies, ceasing military cooperation with turkey, etc.

Qatar rejected the contention made by Middle East countries by stating that there was “no legitimate justification” for the severance of relation.[3] ‘Fulfilling the list of demand influence us to surrender our sovereignty and that we will never do’, said by Qatar officials.[4] Qatar accepted that it assisted some Muslim brotherhood but did not aid military terrorist groups. They said Qatar is ready to willingly to negotiate with boycotted countries with unconditional dialogues.

Impact of Blockade on Qatar:

Qatar faces many challenges but tackles positively on the Gulf dispute. After restricting Qatar, initially, they faced very difficult in basic necessities like food and water shortage, etc and reduce economic growth. They endeavour to become self- sufficient by opening a wide range of local products, setup of manufacturing units, suppliers, and made the country stronger.

The Qataris government suffered huge losses in finance as a result of a blockade to support domestic industries. On the other side, they attempted to boost their economy tie with Iran and Turkey. Their non-oil economy slows down which falls to 4.6%. The government of Qatar strike off many restrictions on businesses and offered subsidies to private investors to prevent them from leaving the nation.

Resolving dispute and U.S. interference:

U.S. President Donald Trump talks to various leaders of the Middle East to end the dispute with Qatar. Qatar signed an agreement with U.S. and GCC states on establishing an Anti-terrorist financial centre in Riyadh. The U.S. offered military support not only to Qatar but to each GCC member to protect against each other.

Qatar wants full membership of NATO but only European countries can enter so, they signed a military agreement that will allow NATO’s forces to control Al-Udeid airbase. Kuwait with other Arab countries wants to resolve the crisis as they only downturn Qatar by not imposing blockade from their side. Both U.S. and Qatar had shared a long fruitful dialogue on economics, politics, security, and education, etc. Other than the U.S. other countries like France, Pakistan, Iran, Kuwait, Turkey had offered to mediate between Qatar and members of GCC.

Conclusion:

Qatar like a small nation can only rely on U.S. help to continue its independent foreign policy. The United State of America make an effort to interfere into Qatar crisis and maybe it will resolve anytime soon.[5] The U.S. endeavoured their best to unite Gulf Nations, disconnecting counter-terrorism, and bring their future best in neighbours’ relations. Blockade in Qatar creates a lot of tension in Middle East countries and very severely impacted their economy, trade, business, and persons who were in and around the world. But they became more or less successful in making their nation self- sufficient and domestically strong. There is hope from the U.S. to unite GCC members again and blockade would be removed.

[1]https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/06/qatar-blockade-gulf-crisis-190604220901644.html(last accessed on June 12, 2020)

[2]https://www.inss.org.il/publication/qatar-crisis-causes-implications-risks-need-compromise/

[3]Supra Note 1

[4]https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-40173757 (last accessed on June 16, 2020)

[5]https://www.bakermckenzie.com/en/insight/publications/2017/12/december-2017-overview-qatar-diplomatic-crisis (last accessed on June 13, 2020).

This Article is Authored by Poornima Gupta, 2nd Year BA LLB Student at Delhi Metropolitan Education.

Also Read – The Scope of Non-International Armed Conflicts and Geopolitics

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