|The diplomatic break between certain countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. (Photo illustration)|
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have announced on Monday, June 5, the breakdown of their diplomatic relations with Qatar, accused of ” support for terrorism “, including Al-Qaeda, the state group Islamic and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Everything seems to have been played on May 20 and 21, when Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia where, in front of some 50 Muslim leaders, the US president designated Iran as the absolute opponent and the source Of all terrorism. A resolute and unambiguous support for the policy defended by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which, along with Bahrain and Egypt, are on a hard line against Shiite Iran, but also against the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood. Qatar has always been careful to maintain good relations with Iran and gives asylum to militants of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas persecuted by its neighbors.
From Trump’s departure from the region, everything went very quickly. The regional press has published remarks by the Emir of Qatar praising Hamas and presenting Iran as a factor of stability in the Middle East. Qatar denies that the emir made these remarks, but they largely reflect the position of the Emirate, antipodal to that of its neighbors and allies of the Gulf Cooperation Council. What is certain is that a real campaign was launched against Qatar from then on, to the point that, just hours before the announcement of the breakdown of relations with Bahrain, the Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Qatar was preparing to expel members of Hamas to bring down tension.
For the Gulf Cooperation Council, the club of the monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula, which has experienced many internal tensions since its creation in 1981, is an unprecedented turning point. It remains to be seen what the Sultanate of Oman will do, which, more discreetly than Qatar, has always maintained good relations with Iran, and Kuwait, which in recent days has tried to mediate between Qatar and Saudi Arabia Arabia. The message sent by Ryad is clear: all of its neighbors who do not align with its position hostile to Iran are now considered enemies.
This rupture of diplomatic relations isolates Qatar, says our correspondent in Cairo, Alexander Buccianti, not only diplomatically, but also geographically. Qatar is a peninsula whose only land border is with Saudi Arabia. But in the longer term, it is the large American base established in Qatar that could be concerned. The Emirates who already have a French base would not be dissatisfied with the US base moving to their homes.