How long will the sanctions last?

Qatar is situated on the East coast of the Arabian Peninsula at the Persian Gulf. The emirate is an absolute monarchy with Islam being its state religion. Thus, the legislation relies on a big part on the Islamic law shari’ah. Qatar is also known as the richest state in the world. At the beginning of June, Qatar made the headlines, because its neighbouring countries introduced strict sanctions for the state.

Saudi-Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain broke up their diplomatic relations to the emirate and thus cut Qatar off from the Arabian Peninsula. The reason for this diplomatic behaviour is the allegedly support from Qatar for the radical Islamic Muslims. In addition, Qatar gets accused of supporting Iran, one of the major rivals of Saudi-Arabia. Most probably, all of the accusations are based on a hoax, caused through a hacker attack on Qatar. Qatar is denying all accusations brought up by its neighbouring states. Still, the sanctions against the emirate persist. One direct result is the break-off of all diplomatic relations and as well of the traffic connections via sea and air to Qatar, as well as ordering back diplomatic staff situated in Qatar. All Qatari people living in Bahrain, Saudi-Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were asked to leave these states and move back to Qatar. Saudi-Araba and Qatar both are allies of the US. Thus, the US Foreign Minister tried to calm down the Gulf States and asked them to settle their dispute. He has however not been successful. At the beginning of the dispute, Saudi-Arabia demanded that Qatar shall fulfil 13 requirements, but they would have been hard to fulfil for every sovereign state. As a slightly positive sign for an approximation of the two states, Saudi-Arabia reduced the 13 requirements to six principles. This raised hopes for a normalisation between the Gulf States. Especially the organisers of the soccer World Championship 2022, taking place in Qatar, and the superbike World Championship 2017 in Doha are hoping for a quick calming down of the political situation.

Saudi-Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates are issuing trade boycotts against Qatar. They accuse the state of having too close relations to Iran – the biggest rival of the above mentioned states – and to support terrorist groups. Qatar rejected the accusations and took counter measures. At the end of July the emirate consulted the World Trade Organisation and lodged a complaint. The states affected now have 60 days to settle their dispute. If they don’t, there will be legal proceedings. Currently it does not seem as there will be peace in the near future. In contrary, Qatar recently signed an armament deal with Italy and will buy seven navy ships totally worth five billion euros.