With both the public and private sector heavily relying on money from this particular neighbour, it is no surprise that the ruling Khalifa family cannot afford to think about seeking rapprochement with the Shia majority. However, Bahrain has effectively become Saudi Arabia’s backyard, kept afloat by the Saudi government, Saudi investors and Saudi tourists.
Results for Tag: Qatar blockade
Qatar has been investing heavily in the field of sports for more than ten years now because it is a way to raise its profile and global visibility, build a sustainable market, exercise soft power, create a national social cohesion and tackle diabetes through exercise. However, Saudi Arabia has been lobbying intensively all over the world to discourage the attention on Qatar for the World Cup through a campaign of misinformation. It has also notably focused global attention on the way migrants are treated during the construction of the 2022 facilities, despite Saudi Arabia being at the same level regarding migrant workers’ rights.
The economic integration has always come first in the GCC, while political cooperation has tended to be shaky. This is because there has often been a general concern among the members about ceding sovereignty in favour of adopting a more homogenous foreign policy. Despite the political differences, the GCC is still seeking ways to cooperate.
Many media reports speculate that MBC’s decision was made to punish Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for rushing to the aid of Qatar after it was subjected to a Saudi-led blockade. Turkey has also supported and harboured members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Saudi Arabia considers a terrorist organization.
The new emir was tested by the Saudis and Emiratis with the aim of changing Qatar’s regional policies, and after the crisis was resolved there was an improvement in relations, notably with respect to the Iran nuclear deal and Syria. But this proved to be temporary and was followed by the much larger crisis that persists until today.
Anxious reactions to the handover of Sawakin came as no surprise to anyone, given the current regional tensions. The war in Yemen on the east coast of the Red Sea has been ongoing for three years, with no end in sight. Turkey’s manoeuvering, which is at odds with many of its powerful neighbours, notably Saudi Arabia, has been interpreted as a threat to their position.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE are committed to isolating the tiny emirate in every way imaginable. But Dorsey believes that efforts to undermine Qatar’s sports industry could backfire. Assuming the World Cup does go ahead in Qatar in 2022, millions of football fans from the Arab world could be prohibited by their own governments from attending. If that happens, then Qataris will have the last laugh.
The balancing act that Hamas and Fatah are now forced to play requires some external pressure, and it appears that the Egyptians are willing to apply this pressure, especially against Hamas. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is able to exert similar pressure on the PLO, mostly by means of its financial support to the Palestinian government.