The Saudi-led bloc of Arab states (including United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt) presented Qatari officials with a list of demands on Friday, June 23, in exchange for normalization of ties. The 13-point list included the closure of the Al Jazeera media network, removal of the Turkish military base in Qatar, reduction in ties with Iran, and sever all alleged ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hezbollah, among others. The bloc provided Qatar with ten days to comply with the demands, but did not provide information concerning potential consequences should Qatar refuse. Qatar is expected to reject the demands outright. Tensions are expected to remain high between the countries in the coming days and weeks.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, and Egypt announced that they had banned air, sea, and land travel to and from Qatar in a series of coordinated statements in early June. The airlines Emirates, Etihad, Air Arabia, and FlyDubai all announced the indefinite suspension of flights to Qatar starting June 6. The three Gulf States and Egypt gave Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave their territories. Several prominent Gulf and Egyptian businessmen have urged investors to withdraw from Qatar, and the price of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG), of which Qatar is a major supplier, has fallen sharply. Qatar was also expelled from the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.
Gulf Arab states, Egypt, and Jordan have long resented Qatar's alleged support for groups such as the Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic State (IS), among others. Saudi Arabia has repeatedly accused the country of broadcasting militant ideology, a reference to the Al Jazeera media outlet. Qatar allegedly used Al Jazeera to promote the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011, a move which threatened many of the Gulf monarchies and fueled the overthrow of the then Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak.
Qatar has also been heavily criticized for forging a relationship with Iran, considered by many Arab countries as a dangerous enemy.
Individuals in the region are advised to monitor the situation and to contact their respective diplomatic missions for further information regarding security and transit to/from Qatar.
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