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Gulf Crisis: UAE announces new economic sanctions against Qatar

Gulf Crisis: UAE announces new economic sanctions against Qatar

Qatar had demanded that the neighbouring states lift their "blockade" of the emirate as a precondition for talks, even as the United Arab Emirates warned its isolation could last years. The State Department, meantime, is trying to help mediate while also offering mild criticisms of Saudi-led policies against Qatar. "It's now up to Qatar to end its support for extremism and terrorism", Jubeir said via Twitter.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain and Yemen abruptly cut diplomatic relations with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

The four states closed their airspace to Qatari carriers and blocked the emirate's only land border, a vital route for its food imports.

Included in the demands were the complete shutdown of state-funded network, Al Jazeera, a significant scaling down of Qatar's relationship with Iran and the closure of a Turkish military base in the country.

This odd relationship has always intimidated Saudi Arabia - Qatar's largest Arab neighbor and Iran's main rival in the region - since it sees in such ties a serious threat to its national security and a vulnerability that Iran could exploit to divide the unity of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Trade with Qatar or the four nations blockading them may be a hard choice for many nations, but given the considerable annoyance of nations like Turkey at the blockade, some may ultimately favor Qatar.

Washington has close economic and security ties with both sides of the quarrel.

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There is also the uneasy question of Qatar's outsized influence over the US foreign policy establishment, explored in depth by Angelo Codevilla of the Security Studies Group in a June 23 post titled "For Years, Qatar Has Been Corrupting the National Security Deep State". The goals for US policymakers should be threefold: securing a change in Qatari behavior that benefits regional stability; avoiding pushing Qatar too hard so that it embraces Iran; and, finally, avoiding further escalation.

The U.S. secretary and his Kuwaiti visitor emphasized the need for all parties to exercise restraint to allow for productive diplomatic discussions.

The countries said that they will eject the Qatari citizens and the diplomats to leave the Gulf States. "It's an all-out struggle of wills", he said. Both sides therefore risk losing face if the compromises they make are too great.

"We have presented a list of demands to Qatar, made our point, explained our position and taken our decision".

"This is contrary to the principles that govern global relations because you can't just present lists of demands and refuse to negotiate", said al-Thani.

Comparing Qatar to a trapped cat, Al-Rashed said the only way out of the diplomatic impasse is for Doha to reach an understanding with its neighbours and agree to the 13 conditions.


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