Qatar’s ruler to attend Gulf meeting in Kuwait amid dispute


Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional & global groupings & agreements involving India &/or affecting India’s interests

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Gulf Cooperation Council, location of member countries (map based)

Mains level: Groupings across world and challenges they have been facing in recent times


GCC faces threat of tearing apart

  1. Qatar’s ruling emir will attend a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council this week in Kuwait
  2. Summit comes amid a boycott of the energy-rich country by three of the council’s members
  3. The ongoing dispute has threatened to tear apart the six-member GCC, all U.S. allies who serve in part as a Gulf Arab counterbalance to Shiite power Iran

Reason for the rift

  1. GCC members Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have cut off Doha over allegations that Qatar supports extremists and has too-friendly relations with Iran
  2. Qatar long has denied supporting extremists, while it shares a massive offshore natural gas field with Iran

Crisis is not new

  1. A similar dispute involving Qatar erupted in 2014
  2. The UAE in particular views Islamists as a threat to hereditary rule in its federation of seven sheikhdoms
  3. Egypt, long angered by Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, is also boycotting Doha


Gulf Cooperation Council

  1. It is a regional intergovernmental political and economic union consisting of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf, except for Iraq
  2. Its member states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates
  3. All current member states are monarchies, including three constitutional monarchies (Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain), two absolute monarchies (Saudi Arabia and Oman), and one federal monarchy (the United Arab Emirates, which is composed of seven member states, each of which is an absolute monarchy with its own emir)
Foreign Policy Watch: India-Middle East