China calls for harmony as it welcomes Qatar emir amid Gulf dispute

Qatar 2022: Blockade ’not hindering‘ World Cup preparation

Katar zahlt Millionenhilfen an Arme im Gazastreifen direkt aus

Al-Baschir in Katar: Besuch bei Freunden?

Qatar challenges Saudi influence in Lebanon

Hamas says rejects Qatari aid millions over Israeli conditions

Ein Emirat trotzt Krise und Blockade

Katar kauft sich nun in die Pariser Kunstszene ein

Qatar first Gulf nation to grant permanent residency to expats

One hundred permanent residencies each year to be given to children of Qatari mothers and skilled expatriates.

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Machen die Saudis Katar zur Insel?

Saudiarabien will offenbar das Emirat vom Festland abschneiden und einen Kanal entlang der Grenze bauen. Katar sucht nach Verbündeten und winkt mit Milliarden.

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Human Rights Watch: World Report 2018: Qatar

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Qatar accuses Saudis of reckless behavior as Arab row enters second year

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Somalia and the Gulf Crisis

The quarrel between Gulf monarchies has spilled into Somalia, with the fragile state now caught between the rival interests of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. The competition has already aggravated intra-Somali disputes. All sides should take a step back before these tensions mount further.

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Saudi Arabia Threatens to Attack if Qatar Deploys Anti-aircraft Missiles

Le Monde said that Saudi King Salman had written a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron, expressing his profound concern over negotiations between Doha and Moscow

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Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Goes After the Bin Ladens

The kingdom’s business leaders apparently realize they’d better work with Mohammed bin Salman lest they lose the rest of their whittled-down holdings

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Saudi Arabia vs. Qatar: How MBS’s Blockade Not Only Failed to Achieve Its Goals but Backfired

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman led a blockade of Qatar in order to bend the tiny emirate to his will, but a year later Qatar is more defiant than ever

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In the presence of His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krähenbühl and His Excellency Mr. Khalifa Bin Jassim Al Kuwari, Director-General of the Qatar Fund for Development signed on Wednesday in Doha a memorandum of understanding in the amount of US$ 50 million. This highly generous contribution by the State of Qatar is crucial to safeguard Palestine refugees‘ access to essential education in 2018.
These funds will be utilized immediately to sustain the Agency’s education services in all five fields of operations, namely, Jordan, Gaza, the West Bank including East Jerusalem, Syria, and Lebanon between June and October of this year. The State of Qatar announced the pledge at the UNRWA Extraordinary Ministerial Conference that took place in Rome on 15 March. This was the largest financial commitment made during the Conference, which was held to address the Agency’s critical funding shortfall.
UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krähenbühl expressed his profound appreciation to the State of Qatar for this vital contribution and said: „The outstanding demonstration of support by the State of Qatar and the Qatar Fund for Development will not only help stabilize UNRWA funding for its operations this year, but it will also encourage other partners to strengthen their commitments and join our efforts to prevent a major humanitarian crisis“. „I wish to thank the State of Qatar, the Qatar Fund for Development and the Qatari people for this remarkable contribution of US$ 50 million, and I look forward to an enhanced and deepened partnership between the Agency and Qatar,“ continued Mr. Krähenbühl.
Qatar Fund for Development Director-General Khalifa Bin Jassim Al Kuwari said: „This agreement aims to ensure that the provision of basic services to Palestinian refugees is not interrupted. This is an affirmation of Qatar’s firm position on the Palestinian issue and the State’s special interest in helping to provide its brothers in Palestine with the most basic needs in order to live a dignified life.“
With this contribution this week, which coincidently marks 70 years of displacement for this vulnerable community, Qatar becomes one of the Agency’s top donors to its core operations for 2018. The funding will allow for the continued delivery of UNRWA core services across the region during this period of dramatic financial crisis and political upheaval.
UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

How WikiLeaks cables paint UAE motive for Qatar blockade

Cables show UAE ‚warned‘ US about Qatar long before crisis began, motives weren’t only driven by security concerns.

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Increasingly vulnerable Qatar splashes money on defence

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Gulf crisis: is Qatar really the “region’s Israel?”

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Nationalism Is Suddenly Chic in Qatar

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Algeria Takes Independent Approach to Qatar Crisis

A recent meeting between Qatar’s foreign minister and Algeria’s prime minister highlights Algiers‘ unique strategy in the wake of the GCC-Qatar rift.

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Modernising female voice for Qatar

If the personal is political, then Sheikha Hind, a senior member of Qatar’s ruling royal family, gives a very direct answer to her views on the end of the driving ban for women in Saudi Arabia.

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Ölgeld für Bildung

Katar will sich wirtschaftlich erneuern. Im Mittelpunkt steht nicht mehr nur das Öl, sondern zunehmend eine wohlhabende Wissensgesellschaft. Bei einer Rede in London stellte die 33-jährige Hind bint Hamad bin Chalifa Al Thani, eine der mächtigsten Frauen im Nahen Osten, kürzlich die Bildungspolitik ihres Landes in Zeiten der politischen Krise vor, berichtete die BBC. Doch ausgespart wurde dabei die Situation Tausender wirtschaftlich benachteiligter Gastarbeiter in Katar.

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Qatar and Oman’s Shared Interests

by Giorgio Cafiero

Photo: Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad of Qatar meets with Sultan Qaboos of Oman

Photo: Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad of Qatar meets with Sultan Qaboos of Oman

Most Gulf states have taken sides in the 14-week-old Qatar crisis. However, the Sultanate of Oman has remained characteristically neutral. It has called for all involved parties to negotiate a settlement while lending support to the Kuwaiti emir’s mediatory efforts.

For decades, Oman has had neutral stances on regional issues, refusing to take sides in conflicts with strong ethnic and sectarian undertones. Since the Iran-Iraq War, Muscat’s foreign policy strategy has positioned the sultanate as a diplomatic bridge between other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and their Western allies and the Islamic Republic. Beginning in 2010, Omani diplomats successfully helped the P5+1 and Iran negotiate the historic Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed in 2015. In recent years, officials in Muscat have also sought, albeit less successfully, to help resolve the Syrian and Yemeni crises by hosting and promoting talks between different sides in both civil wars.

The current stalemate between the Anti-Terror Quartet (ATQ) and Qatar represents another geopolitical dilemma for Oman. One of the ways in which the diplomatic row is challenging the Sultanate has to do with the future of the GCC, which Muscat has a vested interest in seeing remain a united body. For Oman, maintaining alliances with the other five Arabian monarchies is key, and the longer that the Qatar crisis continues the bleaker become the prospects for resolution. Therefore, Muscat has carefully sought to avoid being seen as taking sides and being directly involved in the mediation.

The sultanate has certainly played a key role in enabling Qatar to continue trading with the global economy despite the ATQ’s actions. Doha has had to restructure its import/export routes to avoid ATQ countries while relying more heavily on other countries for trade, which has benefitted Oman. In fact, only six days after the Saudi/UAE-led bloc severed ties with Doha, the Qataris and Omanis opened two new shipping services linking Qatar’s Hamad Port with two of Oman’s ports (Sohar and Salalah), ultimately providing the blockaded emirate with another lifeline. Qatari importers diverted Doha-bound containers of food from Dubai’s Jebel Ali to the sultanate’s ports. Since June 5, cargo volumes between these two countries have increased 30 percent. By helping Doha weather the ATQ’s punitive measures, the Omanis have made themselves increasingly important to Qatar.

Joining the ATQ on June 5 was no option for Muscat. Although Omani and Qatari officials have had disagreements on regional issues, especially with respect to Syria, Omani thinking rejects actions such as those taken by the Saudi/UAE-led bloc against Doha. The sultanate’s foreign policy rests on the pillars of dialogue, accommodation, and tolerance, not coercion. This does much to explain Muscat’s disappointment with numerous Saudi foreign policy initiatives, from Syria to Yemen, with the severance of ties with Qatar only the most recent example.

Oman has stood by Qatar throughout the past three months in part because Muscat is also worried about being targeted by the ATQ. Oman has vested interests in promoting a GCC in which all six members can freely exercise their sovereign rights in terms of both their domestic and foreign policies. On past occasions, the Saudis and Emiratis have pressured Muscat to distance itself from Tehran. For example, last year King Salman did a tour of all GCC states with the notable exception of Oman. The leadership in Muscat is concerned that Riyadh’s “with-us-or-against-us” foreign policy will further complicate regional instability, particularly with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman expected to become Saudi Arabia’s next monarch.

Oman’s Sultan Qaboos is the only sitting ruler in the GCC who was present in 1981 in Abu Dhabi when the six Arabian Peninsula countries established the Council. As a founding member, Oman is watching a crisis unfold on its doorstep that threatens to damage (perhaps permanently so) the Khaleeji identity and the social/political/economic fabric that GCC leaders spent the past 36 years promoting. Oman therefore wants a diplomatic solution before the crisis further damages GCC unity.

To be sure, in the 1980s and 1990s, the five smaller GCC states’ relations with Riyadh were extremely different. In the GCC’s early days, Saudi Arabia was unquestionably the Council’s dominant member, and the other monarchies usually toed Riyadh’s line on regional issues. Yet the economic and geopolitical ascendancy of smaller Arab Gulf states has fueled friction ever since the Saudis understood that GCC members like Qatar would sometimes conduct ambitious foreign policies that challenged Riyadh’s positions on Iran, the Arab uprisings of 2011, and other issues.

This question about whether the Council can be an institution made up of different states with unique foreign policies, including some that contradict Riyadh’s, is at the heart of the Qatar crisis. In late-2017, the GCC’s future appears bleak as neither the ATQ nor Doha shows any signs of willingness to make concessions on this front. Qatar’s leadership believes that the right to conduct an independent foreign policy is fundamental and must not be surrendered as a price for ending the ATQ-imposed blockade. Although officially neutral in the GCC’s ongoing crisis, Oman is not neutral when it comes to this question.

Indeed, Muscat and Doha share the same vision of the GCC as a council of six states that have the right to respectfully disagree when it comes to engaging Iran among other issues. Given Oman’s special position in the GCC and the sultanate’s resistance to Saudi/UAE-led efforts to pressure the smaller members into backing Riyadh and Abu Dhabi’s visions for the region, Doha is likely to continue receiving cooperation and sympathy from Muscat as the Qatar crisis continues. Simultaneously, other GCC states and Washington may come to view Oman’s balanced policy as a remaining gateway to a settlement that the United States has high stakes in promoting.


FIIA COMMENT 18/2017: Qatar engulfed (ansehen)