In May 23th 2017, the Qatar News Agency website was hacked and hackers made a statement attributed to His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al – Thani. At the time, Qatar denied the allegations, and called on the media to pay no attention to it. The State announced piracy on Twitter, and therefore Arab and foreign countries expressed their willingness to participate in investigation of the penetration.
On the 5th June 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Arab Republic of Egypt suddenly announced that they had cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed on Qatar an unjust blockade on land, sea and air. In fact, the issue is a political ideological crisis in some Gulf regimes which have chosen to impose their idea on others.
Gulf States of siege immediately ordered Qataris out from their countries within 14 days as well as calling home their own citizens.
The decision threaten to break families apart in ways unimaginable in the Gulf where previously residents had the right to live, work and travel in any of the six countries they chose.
With the deep family, heritage and commercial links between the Gulf countries, tens of thousands of people are affected by this development.
In Qatar alone there are 11,382 residents from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE, according to Doha’s National Human Rights Committee. Almost 6,500 Qatari men and women are married to partners from those three countries.
Overnight, planes and cargo ships heading for Qatar were diverted, all diplomatic links were cut and Qatar’s sole land border, with Saudi Arabia, was closed. Even camels were not spared the politics – 12,000 Qatari animals were forcibly repatriated.
The situation in the Gulf region is rapidly changing into what looks like “the new norms” in regional relations. More importantly, the crisis has not only affected the Gulf States, but also its influence is growing wider to encompass the entire region and reshape regional relations.
In July 2017, Washington post quoted US intelligence officials saying that the United Arab Emirates was behind the infiltration of the Qatar News Agency and other government websites, triggering the current Gulf crises.
The Saudi and UAE exports to Qatar amounted to about $1.5 billion and $2.9 billion respectively.
Qatar immediately felt the negative effects on its economy and financial markets as imports plunged about 40 percent from a year earlier. But very swiftly, the world’s top exporter of liquefied natural gas developed new trade routes to the existing and new markets and used its reserves in terms of tens of billions of dollars from its funds, to protect its banks.
As a result of ongoing blockade, Qatar has been able to identify alternative sources for construction materials of superior quality at competitive prices.
The blockade has had no impact on the operations of construction here. However, the impact is the other way round, with the blockading countries loosing lots of opportunities,” said Fahad Rashid Al Kaabi, CEO of Manateq.
Qatar’s oil and gas exports have continued to flow freely, and new trade routes have been put in place. Qatar recently opened a deep-water port, Hamad, which is capable of handling large container ships. The worst of the import disruptions appears to be over, and inflation has eased.
Despite the systematic campaign against the leadership, the government and the people of the State of Qatar, the State of Qatar calls upon its citizens, residents and all media fraternity in the county to avoid harming the Gulf States’ leadership, despite what the embargo countries have promoted from irresponsible actions. The State of Qatar’s position is consistent from the beginning, which is to resolve differences through dialogue.
Therefore, we appreciate the Kuwaiti mediation to resolve this crisis between the brothers. The people of Qatar and the community living in Qatar stood united behind His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, Emir of Qatar.