The situation in the Middle East may be heating up rapidly. Not long after several countries cut ties with Qatar and enacted a blockade against its shipments, one of the most powerful Arab nations has just issued a serious ultimatum.
“Saudi Arabia gives Qatar 24 hr ultimatum to fulfill 10 conditions that have been sent,” stated Reza H. Akbari from the Institute for Peace and War Reporting.
— Reza H. Akbari (@rezahakbari) June 6, 2017
The indications are that if Qatar ignores those conditions, Saudi Arabia is prepared to take military action.
Sky News Arabia confirmed Akbari’s report. “Our sources: Saudi Arabia has informed Kuwait of 10 conditions that [Qatar’s capitol] Doha should apply within 24 hours starting tonight,” the news station posted in Arabic. Kuwait is acting as a mediator between Qatar and other Arab countries.
Al Jazeera journalist Faisal Edroos shared the ten demands with the public. According to IFP News, they are:
- Immediate severance of diplomatic relations with Iran,
- Expulsion of all members of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas from Qatar,
- Freezing all bank accounts of Hamas members and refraining from any deal with them,
- Expulsion of all Muslim Brotherhood members from Qatar,
- Expulsion of anti-[P]GCC elements,
- Ending support for ‘terrorist organisations’,
- Stopping interference in Egyptian affairs,
- Ceasing the broadcast of the Al Jazeera news channel,
- Apologizing to all [Persian] Gulf governments for ‘abuses’ by Al Jazeera,
- Pledging that it (Qatar) will not carry out any actions that contradict the policies of the [P]GCC and adhering to its charter.
Those ten conditions center on Qatar’s alleged connections to Iran and groups such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. At the heart of the conflict is also a scandal regarding Qatar’s state news agency.
Last month, the government-owned news station published remarks which were attributed to the Emir of Qatar. The alleged statements expressed support Iran, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.
The Arab news station denied responsibility for the quotes, and maintains that its website was hacked. While it insists that the Emir did not actually make the remarks, many Middle Eastern countries did not accept this explanation and quickly distanced themselves from Qatar.
It goes without saying that Middle Eastern conflicts are complicated and can have serious future effects. One of the America’s largest Middle Eastern military bases is located in Qatar, and turmoil in the area might jeopardize that agreement.
With all eyes on Qatar and Saudi Arabia, one wrong move could send the region into a tailspin.
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