Pompeo urges resolution to gulf crisis
21, Mar 2019
- S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday renewed calls for a resolution to a festering dispute between Qatar and four other Arab nations, all of them America’s partners.
- The dispute that has roiled the Gulf Cooperation Council for almost two years is
- hindering efforts to combat regional threats posed by Iran, the Islamic State and other terrorist groups.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, along with Egypt, issued a synchronized series of announcements in June to cut ties with Qatar, followed by a land, sea and air blockade. The GCC is a political and economic alliance of six countries, including Qatar, Saudi, Bahrain, the UAE, Oman and Kuwait.
The Saudi-led coalition cited Qatar’s alleged support for terrorism as the main reason for their actions, insisting Qatar has violated a 2014 agreement with members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Qatar’s relations with Iran, with which it shares the world’s largest gas field. The Shia Muslim power is Sunni Muslim-ruled Saudi Arabia’s main regional rival.
Two states in the six-member Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) did not cut ties with Qatar – Kuwait and Oman. The dispute, which is being mediated by Kuwait, has put this month’s Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in jeopardy
Qatar is dependent on imports by land and sea for the basic needs of its population of 2.7 million, and about 40% of its food came in through the land border with Saudi Arabia.
- Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain issued Qatar a list of 13 demands through Kuwait, which is acting as a mediator, that Qatar should agree in full within 10 days, which expired on 2 July 2017.
- Close Al-Jazeera and its affiliate stations
- Close other news outlets that Qatar funds, directly and indirectly, including Arabi21, Rassd, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed and Middle East Eye.
- Close the Turkish military base in Qatar, and terminate the Turkish military presence and any joint military cooperation with Turkey inside Qatar.
- Reduce diplomatic relations with Iran. Only trade and commerce with Iran that complies with US and international sanctions will be permitted.
- Expel any members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and cut off military and intelligence cooperation with Iran.
- “Qatar must announce it is severing ties with terrorist, ideological and sectarian organizations including the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Jabhat Fateh al Sham, formerly al Qaeda’s branch in Syria” according to one Arab official
- Surrender all designated terrorists in Qatar, and stop all means of funding for individuals, groups or organisations that have been designated as terrorists
- End interference in the four countries’ domestic and foreign affairs and having contact with their political opposition. Stop granting citizenship to wanted nationals from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain.
- Revoke Qatari citizenship for existing nationals where such citizenship violates those countries’ laws. Payment of reparations for years of alleged wrongs
- Monitoring for 10 years
- Align itself with the other Gulf and Arab countries militarily, politically, socially and economically, as well as on economic matters, in line with an agreement reached with Saudi Arabia in 2014.
That its neighbours were “demanding that we have to surrender our sovereignty”. That was something it would “never do”.
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC):
- It is a regional intergovernmental group
- It deals with political and economic issues
- It includes all Arab states of Persian Gulf except Iraq
✓ Saudi Arabia
HQ: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
All members are monarchies, including three constitutional monarchies (Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain), two absolute monarchies (Oman and Saudi Arabia) and one federal monarchy (UAE which is composed of seven member states, each of which is absolute monarchy).