Middle east has been facing conflicts since long and this is one among them. Terror financing has been headache of all countries around globe and this is first time such a stern action has been taken against a country. Op-ed discusses cause of crisis and way forward.
From UPSC perspective, following things are important:
Prelims level: Various terror groups and their operating areas, Middle east countries and geographical features associated with them.
Mains level: Crisis in middle east and possible solutions.
- The recent diplomatic rift between Qatar and other Arab states — like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt — has again highlighted the geopolitical significance of the region beyond the oil factor
- It emerged as a result of an allegation that the small gas-rich country supports and funds terror through its support of Iran and Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni Islamist political group outlawed by both Saudi Arabia and the UAE
- These allegations have been been in focus in the past as well
- An American intelligence report in 2015 had accused Qatar of financing Hamas
- It has also been accused of funding Al-Qaeda affiliates like Al-Nusra
- Qatar’s hosting of the Afghan Taliban, including by providing it with an ‘embassy’, has also invited widespread criticism
Importance of Qatar- For World
- Gulf monarchy hosts the largest U.S. military base in West Asia
- It shares the world’s largest gas field with Iran
Importance of Qatar- For India
- India depends on Qatar for 90% of its natural gas requirements
- Doha can’t allow the dispute to drag on for long
- A long-term crisis is likely to make borrowing more expensive for the government, affecting its ability to build infrastructure for the 2022 FIFA World Cup
- The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries need to negotiate and find a solution, keeping the group’s collective agenda in mind
- A diplomatic freeze will only allow non-state actors like the Islamic State (IS) to strengthen their presence
- Cooperation between Iran and Sunni Arab countries is also desirable for the benefit of both
- Qatar is not yet strong enough to have its own independent regional doctrine and thus needs to choose between aligning its policies with those of the regional heavyweights or greater isolation