Communiqué: The Government of Republic of Seychelles is closely following the ongoing political situation in the Gulf region (07.06.2017)

VICTORIA, Seychelles, June 7, 2017 – The Government of Republic of Seychelles is closely following the ongoing political situation in the Gulf region.

In view of the excellent and friendly bilateral relations that the Government of Seychelles maintains with the countries of the Gulf region, Seychelles calls on all the parties involved to engage in meaningful dialogue in order to resolve and deescalate the current situation in the interest of maintaining peace and stability in the region and further afield.

Seychelles would further call upon the Gulf Cooperation Council as well as other key stakeholders to engage with all parties concerned with the view of helping to mediate and resolve the dispute.

Press Statement: The Federal Republic of Somalia is deeply concerned about the diplomatic row between the brotherly Arab countries (07.06.2017)

#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

Greek Embassy in Qatar takes on diplomatic representation of the Arab Republic of Egypt (06.06.2017)

Greece is at the disposal of all sides to contribute in any way to the benefit of regional cooperation and stability.

ATHENS, Greece, June 6, 2017- During Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias’ telephone conversation today with the Foreign Minister of Egypt, Sameh Hassan Shoukry, the Egyptian side requested that the Greek Embassy in Doha take on diplomatic representation of the friendly Arab Republic of Egypt in Qatar.
Within the framework of the traditionally friendly relations Greece maintains with the Arab world, Mr. Kotzias responded positively to his Egyptian counterpart’s request.

Greece is at the disposal of all sides to contribute in any way to the benefit of regional cooperation and stability.

#QatarCrisis: the Sudden fallout between neighbors and allies in the Middle-East!

There are a diplomatic spat of epic proportions happening in the Middle East, these is Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Maldives has all broke of their diplomatic ties with Qatar, because of the supposed support of terrorism. This has happen as the UAE diplomatic e-mail leaks has hit the ally of Saudi Arabia, which an intercept report stated this:

In another email exchange in late April of this year, Hannah complains to Otaiba that Qatar — a rival Gulf government that has clashed with the UAE in recent months over various issues — is hosting a meeting of Hamas at an Emirati-owned hotel. Otaiba responds that it’s not the Emirati government’s fault, and that the real issue is the U.S. military base in Qatar, “How’s this, you move the base then we’ll move the hotel :-).” (…) “The agenda includes extensive discussion between the two on Qatar. They are scheduled to discuss, for instance, “Al Jazeera as an instrument of regional instability.” (Al Jazeera is based in Qatar.)” (Jilani & Grim, 2017). So there seems to be a hunt between other gulf partners of the United States, that they are having ticks towards the Qatar leadership that has led to today’s reaction from the rest of the middle-east.

These countries has all started to land, sea and trade embargo with Qatar. Therefore, the Qatar state and it’s imports will be hit by this, as their neighbors trucks and freight-ships cannot come to Doha. This as a spat of epic size.

Egypt Reason for pulling diplomatic ties:

Egypt said it was cutting ties with Qatar due to its insistence on “supporting terrorist organizations” and meddling in Egypt’s internal affairs” (…) “Egypt said it took the decision “in light of the continued insistence of the Qatari government to take a stance against Egypt.”Qatar slammed the decision, saying the Arab states were “unjustified” in their criticisms and were seeking to place Doha under political “guardianship” (Ahram Online, 2017).

Maldives reasons for pulling diplomatic ties:

The Government of Maldives has decided to sever diplomatic relations with Qatar effective from today, 5 June 2017. The Maldives took the decision because of its firm opposition to activities that encourage terrorism and extremism. The Maldives has always pursued a policy of promoting peace and stability in the Middle East. The Maldives reiterates its commitment to work with countries that promote peace, stability, and show solidarity in the fight against terrorism. The Maldives established diplomatic relations with Qatar on 26 May 1984” (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Republic of the Maldives, 05.06.2017).

US advice to Citizens in Qatar:

On June 5, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt announced the cessation of diplomatic and consular ties with the State of Qatar. Qatar Airways and other airlines in the region have announced the suspension of certain flights to and from Qatar. The U.S. Embassy takes this opportunity to remind all U.S. citizens residing in or visiting Qatar to check directly with your travel providers for any potential impact on your personal travel arrangements and remain alert to additional developments. The embassy is monitoring the situation closely and is working with the Government of Qatar to ensure the safety of U.S. citizens in the country” (U.S. Embassy in Qatar, 05.06.2017).

We are living in interesting times, when a spat of this proportions gets this traction. As the Airlines are not going to Qatar and suspending flying there, these are Emirates, Etihad Airways, FlyDubai, Air Arabia, Saudia and Gulf Air.

The Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs answers to the international dispute:

What we can certainly know that is this is not the final nail in coffin, as the spat and diplomatic dispute will lead to more leads and more stories to be told. There might be more economic sanctions and reasons,as there always something underneath. Why the Saudi Arabia sparked this problems for Qatar and what is the real reason for the sudden change of tone between the neighbors. We will know it soon, but how quick is not easy to know.

Reference:

Ahram Online – ‘Egypt gives Qatari ambassador 48 hours to leave following severing of diplomatic ties’ (05.06.2017) link: http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/270281.aspx

Jilani, Zaid & Grim, Ryan – ‘HACKED EMAILS SHOW TOP UAE DIPLOMAT COORDINATING WITH PRO-ISRAEL THINK TANK AGAINST IRAN’ (03.06.2017) link:https://theintercept.com/2017/06/03/hacked-emails-show-top-uae-diplomat-coordinating-with-pro-israel-neocon-think-tank-against-iran/

Cold War Document: “Urgent Note from W. Paszkowski on Conversation with Viktor Bakin, Counselor of the Soviet Embassy in Warsaw” (15.04.1971)

Charles Rwomushana Speaks Out on Burundi Unrests (Youtube-Clip)

“Rwomushana says there is still a long way to resolve the problem of Burundi” (NBS TV Uganda, 2015).

France24 Youtube clip: Military coup in Burkina Faso – ousted interim president Michel Kafando back in power