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#Qatarcrisis: Updates on the Embargo and the implications of it!

During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar – look!” (…)…extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!” – President Donald J. Trump (06.06.2017)

As the crisis in the Middle-East continue the diplomatic spat are continuing to create problems. Now the Turkish diplomat’s have explained their position: “Main opposition CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has urged the ruling AK Party to remain neutral in the ongoing #Qatar crisis” (Turkish Politics, 06.06.2017). But during the day even more has happen. The Philippines has also reacted:

DOLE suspends deployment of OFWs to Qatar

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III on Tuesday announced the temporary suspension of the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Qatar after neighboring Arab states cut diplomatic ties with the said country. “I temporarily suspend the deployment of our OFWs in the county of Qatar. This is for us to be able to assess the situation because there are so many wild rumors going around, saying things are not going well there. This suspension is for the welfare and protection of our OFWs,” Bello said. Given the situation in the said Arab country, Bello, meantime has sent augmentation team composed of five Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) officers and staff to Qatar and other involved Middle East countries to assess the situation and monitor the condition of around 250,000 OFWs in Qatar. Bello also said that it is necessary to assess the situation first before allowing the Filipino migrant workers to get deployed in Qatar. “We need to study first the situation. For now, the protection of our migrant workers comes first. The duration of suspension of deployment will depend on the assessment of the situation with close coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs,” Bello said. The labor chief also directed Labor Attaché David Des Dicang to ensure food provision of the OFWs as Qatar does not have its own food production. He also advised all recruitment agencies to get in touch with their counterparts in Qatar to see to it that Filipino migrant workers are sufficiently and effectively protected” (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) – 06.06.2017).

So the Philippines government have even reacted because of the uncertainty in Qatar, that the Doha government can feel it, as there 250,000 migrant workers in Qatar. So that is big group of workers and must be seen as vital part of the workforce. Since they are so many and the suspension means that the low-level jobs that the Philippians might do doesn’t get fulfilled.

While this is happening, a wonderful piece was written on the subject and that piece of Dr. Theodore Karasik in Al Arabiya: “Qatar’s past behavior complicates the mission that Saudi Arabia and its allies see as necessary now. With a new urgency for a greater integration of like-minded Arab states to deal with local and regional ills, Doha needs to be a positive Arab actor. Hence, Operation Restore Hope is unable to see any benefit in Qatar’s participation and thus Doha was ejected. Riyadh sees that the harsh air, land, and sea sanctions against Doha impacts to a small degree the GCC’s overall economy during this time of transformation. For Qatar, the economy may suffer tremendously. Qatar’s trade with Gulf nations reached $11 billion in 2016, constituting 86 percent of the country’s trade with Arab countries and 12 percent of its international trade” (…) “To be sure, Saudi Arabia and Arab allies are using smart sanctions on Qatar. With Riyadh and allies thinking about the energy equation as a pressure point, Saudi Arabia and allies do not want to damage their own relations with Doha’s LNG East Asian end-users such as Japan who are investors in GCC economies. This fact is to give investors and markets reassurance about the sanction’s intent” (…) “The sanctions put into place against Qatar are based on a list of actions to be taken against Doha originally drawn up during the 2014 spat three years ago and now being implemented without hesitation to continue Qatar’s tutorial. Saudi and Arab sanctions consist of about half of what is in the Saudi and Arab toolkit. According to a GCC interlocutor, “an Iranian food supply chain to Doha is not going to transit a blockade.” (Karasik, 2017).

Because of the current crisis in Qatar even Pakistan gets issues as explained here:

Pakistan, in its immediate response, said it won’t join the KSA-led move against Qatar – whose ruling elite is close to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Since PM Sharif has personal ties with the Saudi royal family too, it will be hard to leave one and choose the other. Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said that Pakistan would continue diplomatic ties with Qatar. “For now [at least], there is no change for Qatar. We will announce if there is any development on this issue,” he said. Another official at the foreign ministry said that Pakistan would not jump into confrontation between other countries. “We cannot cut ties with Saudi Arabia or Qatar for their tension. Pakistan is a sovereign country and has to take its own interests into consideration,” he added” (Shaqat, 2017). So with the relationship between the Saudi Royal Family and also their friendship with Qatar.

With the diplomatic ties cut and the embargoes on Qatar puts a strain, there are even issues within the container business and port of trouble in Doha. Therefore this is even intervening in the shipping industry: “According to a notice posted on the website of Inchcape Shipping, Saudi Arabian and Bahraini authorities closed off all of their ports to Qatari-flagged vessels or ships traveling to or coming from the Persian Gulf state, in what can be described as a quasi-naval blockade. As Bloomberg adds, container and oil terminals in the United Arab Emirates also closed off traffic to any ships touching Qatar” (…) “Bloomberg also reported that A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, which owns the world’s biggest container line, said it can no longer get cargo to Qatar as a result of the Saudi-imposed blockade of transport to and from the Gulf state. Though the situation remains “very fluid,” with updates expected throughout the coming hours, Maersk Line expects “disruptions to our Qatar services,” spokesman Mikkel Elbek Linnet said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. For now, “we have confirmation that we will not be able to move cargo to or from Qatar,” he said” (Caplan, 2017)

So this situation just seem to be dire. With the comments and stance from Donald Trump, Pakistan, Philippines, Shipping Companies and Turkish politicians. Therefore, with the halting expat workers from Philippines. As well, as the stances from Saudi on their own, as well as the GCC implications shows to surface with the comments of Dr. Theodore Karasik. We can just wait for more leaks from UAE and their collaboration with United States.

There are also many allegations of the newfound relationship and transactions between the Qatar and Iran. Which the E-Mail leak tries to cover-up, as the GCC states United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are imposing and blockage of Qatar. This is certainly not only terrorism involved and sponsoring, as the financial aspect will come to the forefront as the crisis unravels.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Qatar states this today:

Regarding the reasons for this escalation, honestly, we don’t know if there were real reasons for this crisis or whether it was based on things we’re unaware of,” HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani was quoted as saying during an interview with Al Jazeera” (…) “If there were real reasons, it would have been put on the table for discussion during the GCC meeting, but none of that was mentioned. It wasn’t mentioned either during the American-Islamic-Arab summit in Riyadh. There were no indications whatsoever,” HE the minister added” (…) “HE the foreign minister said “we are going through extremely difficult circumstances and challenges and there are wars in the Arab world and people killed whether due to terrorism and extremism or terror crimes committed by regimes against their peoples, and there is a crisis in Yemen, Syria and Libya, and these challenges must unite us. We are surprised that at such a time, a GCC country is being attacked by other GCC countries.” (MOFA Qatar, 2017).

We can wonder else will happen. This is just the beginning. There will be more to come. This is just more acts of what has happen during the last 24. Considering all the nations that has already participation in the cutting their diplomatic ties: these are Libya, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Maldives. Still, waiting on the battle for supremacy between Somaliland and the Federation of Somalia. Also, the states of Djibouti or Sudan and which sides there are on. But many questions remain, when will Kuwait start their diplomatic mission between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and United Arabs Emirates (UAE) who will talk with Qatar. So they can figure out the issues and find their ways. Peace.

Reference:

Caplan, Josh – ‘FLEX: GULF STATES LAUNCH NAVAL BLOCKADE OF QATAR’ (06.06.2017) link: http://vesselnews.io/flex-gulf-states-launch-naval-blockade-qatar/

Dr. Theodore Karasik – ‘Qatar must be part of Arab unity’ (06.06.2017) link: http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2017/06/06/Qatar-must-be-part-of-Arab-unity.html

MOFA Qatar – ‘Foreign Minister: Dialogue Is Qatar’s Strategic Choice for Settling Disputes’ (05.06.2017) link: https://mofa.gov.qa/en/all-mofa-news/details/2017/06/05/%D9%88%D8%B2%D9%8A%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AE%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AC%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AE%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AA%D9%8A%D8%AC%D9%8A-%D9%84%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84%D8%A9-%D9%82%D8%B7%D8%B1-%D9%87%D9%88-%D8%AD%D9%84-%D8%A3%D9%8A-%D8%A3%D8%B2%D9%85%D8%A9-%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%AE%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B1

Shafqat, Ali – ‘Pakistan in a fix over Qatar crisis’ (06.06.2017) link: http://nation.com.pk/national/06-Jun-2017/pakistan-in-a-fix-over-qatar-crisis

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