updated 7:33 AM MST, Nov 17, 2017

Senegal recalls its Ambassador from Qatar

The West African nation of Senegal is recalling its ambassador from Qatar, joining several Middle Eastern countries that have cut diplomatic ties in recent days.

The announcement was made public Wednesday, a day after a similar decision was announced by the neighboring country of Mauritania to the north.

A statement from the Senegalese Foreign Affairs Ministry said it was acting in solidarity with other countries in the Gulf who have cut diplomatic relations with Qatar because of the country’s alleged funding of terrorist groups and friendly ties with Iran.

Karim Wade, the son of Senegal’s former president, has been living in Qatar for nearly a year since his release from prison where he served time for corruption charges.

Sources: AP

  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: Middle East

Russian hackers to blame for sparking Qatar crisis, FBI inquiry finds

Gulf state has been isolated by its neighbours after freelance hacking operation aimed at discrediting emir over his links to Islamist groups

Passengers of cancelled flights wait in Hamad international airport in Doha, Qatar.
Passengers of cancelled flights wait in Hamad international airport in Doha, Qatar.
Passengers of cancelled flights wait in Hamad international airport in Doha, Qatar. Photograph: Hadi Mizban/AP
Patrick Wintour Diplomatic editor/Gurdian
A joint investigation by the FBI and the UK’s National Crime Agency has concluded that Russian hackers were responsible for sending out fake messages from the Qatari government, sparking the Gulf’s biggest diplomatic crisis in decades.

It is believed that the Russian government was not involved in the hacks; instead, freelance hackers were paid to undertake the work on behalf of some other state or individual. Some observers have claimed privately that Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates may have commissioned the hackers.
US officials scramble to limit Donald Trump's diplomatic damage over Qatar tweets

On Monday, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain launched an unprecedented campaign to isolate Qatar diplomatically and economically over links to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Iran. All four countries withdrew their ambassadors. They also launched an economic blockade, including denial of air space, leading to panic-buying in the capital, Doha.

  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: Middle East

Middle east crisis: Trump appears to take credit for Gulf states cutting ties with Qatar

President Donald Trump on Tuesday weighed in on the escalating dispute between Qatar and several Arab nations, appearing to suggest on Twitter that leaders in the Middle East followed his lead and cut ties with Qatar.

“During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar - look!” Trump tweeted. He followed about 90 minutes later with a series of tweets more clearly taking credit for the Qatar moves.

"So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar," he tweeted. "Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!"

His tweet follows moves by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to sever ties with Qatar for allegedly supporting terrorism through the Muslim Brotherhood.

  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: Middle East

Understanding the Qatar Ban and Its Implications for Qatar Airways

The Qatar diplomatic ban is a nightmare for Qatar airways. Its routings and market share will undoubtedly suffer in the near and medium term.

In a seismic move a block of Gulf states and other Arab have cut all ties with the nation of Qatar.

As of Monday morning, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain, and Maldives severed their relationships. They accuse the oil rich gulf state of supporting terrorism and, through these diplomatic moves, have opened up one of the biggest political and trade rifts imaginable in the Arab world.

The geopolitical context is simple: Following Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, the gulf states are circling the wagons on Iran, and this move seeks to isolate Qatar to force serious policy and leadership changes.

  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: Middle East