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Qatar's blockade in 2017, day by day developments

Six months ago, an air, sea and land blockade was imposed on Qatar by neighbouring countries.


Blockade duration

223 days

Six months ago, an air, sea and land blockade was imposed on Qatar by neighbouring countries. Here are the latest developments as of Wednesday, January 14:

  • Military aircraft violates Qatari airspace. For the second time, a UAE military aircraft has violated Qatar's airspace, according to a statement issued by Qatar's foreign ministry on Saturday.
  • According to the statement, the violating military aircraft entered the Qatari airspace at 10:10 am on Wednesday January 3, flying over the Special Economic Zone in Qatar.
  • From his side, the UAE's Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash said that "the Qatari complaint about the UAE's violation of its airspace is incorrect and confused."
  • Qatar files complaint to UN. Qatar filed a complaint at the United Nations Security Council against the United Arab Emirates, citing an airspace violation. 
  • The complaint emphasised that the entrance of a UAE military aircraft into Qatari airspace was a flagrant violation of Qatar's "sovereignty and territorial integrity", as well as international law.
  • Qatar FM vows legal action over hacking. An investigation into the hacking of the state-run Qatar News Agency (QNA) website has revealed the involvement of two nations that are blockading Doha, Qatar's foreign minister has said, as he vowed legal action.
  • Qatar seeks international arbitration. Foreign ministry spokesperson Lulwa Al Khater announced the moves on Wednesday, days after a UN investigation said the blockade was negatively impacting the people of the region. 
  • "We have already begun moving internationally to seek arbitration or [go to] international courts or UN institutions" to end the blockade, Al Khater said in a press conference. "All options are available for us."
  • UN reports on Qatar's blockadeThe chairman of Qatar's National Human Rights Committee (QNHRC) said on Monday that the Office of the UN Human Rights High Commissioner (OHCHR) issued a report that criticised the blockade on Qatar as "one-sided", "arbitrary" and "characterised by racism".
  • Chairman Ali al-Marri had called on the UN to dispatch an international technical mission to Qatar and the blockading countries to examine first-hand the alleged human rights violations.
  • Kuwait sentences journalist to seven year.  A Kuwaiti court sentenced writer Fouad al-Hashem to seven years on Monday, charging him with insulting the state of Qatarlocal media reported. 
  • Kuwait's emir inaugurates GCC meeting. The 11th Meeting of Chairpersons and Speakers of Shura, Representatives Councils and National Assemblies of the GCC was inaugurated in Kuwait on Monday at 10:30am local time.
  • Sheikh al-Sabah spoke during the opening ceremony of the 38th summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and  called for unity between the Gulf States. "We are all aware of the conditions around us… and of their deterioration that represent a serious challenge to us all," Sabah said. "The situation is compounded with the obstacles on our GCC forward-looking progress, and this demands that we cooperate, consult and meet at all levels," agencies reported.
  • The two-day summit on January 8-9 will review the efforts of the GCC Parliamentary Committee on Enhancing Relations with the European Parliament, and will also review the Gulf parliamentary vision for addressing the threat of "terrorist" organisations.
  • Attendance from all six GCC member nations was confirmed by Kuwait's National Assembly Speaker Marzouq al-Ghanim on Tuesday, December 2. 
  • Qatar's emir sends message to South Africa. On Sunday, Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani met in South Africa with South African President Jacob Zuma.
  • According to a statement by Qatar's foreign ministry, Al Thani carried a verbal message from Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
  • The message spoke of the "brotherly ties" between the two countries and the latest developments in the Gulf region, according to the news agency.
  • Muslim scholar held over Qatar tweet. Saudi authorities detained Muslim scholar Salman al-Awda on September 7 and later imposed travel bans on members of al-Awda's family, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Sunday.
  • A family member told HRW that al-Awda was being held over his refusal to comply with an order by Saudi authorities to tweet a specific text to support the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar.
  • In its editorial on Thursday, the Al-Raya newspaper said Saudi Arabia has been taking arbitrary measures against Qatari pilgrims visiting Mecca.
  • Iran invites to OIC meeting. On Wednesday, Iran's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani invited Qatar Parliament Speaker Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmoud to attend the 13th summit of the OIC parliament speakers to be held in Tehran on January 17-18, as reported by Iran's news agency (IRNA). 
  • Qatar's blockading countries are members in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), but have strained diplomatic relations with Iran. They demanded that Qatar followed suit with Iran.
  • All-inclusive participation in GCC meeting. All six member nations will be represented when chief lawmakers from the Gulf region assemble for a conference in Kuwait next week, the country's National Assembly Speaker Marzouq al-Ghanim said on Tuesday. 
  • Turkey looks to enhance cooperation. Speaking from Turkey during a promotional event for the turkishsouq.com website, Ahmet Arslad, Turkish minister for transport, maritime affairs said: "Our cooperation with Qatar will not be limited to e-commerce, it will become widespread in other fields and will pave the way for the two countries to work together elsewhere." 
  • UAE, Saudi introduce VAT. A common agreement on value-added tax (VAT) for the GCC region will officially come into effect January 1, 2018, with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates announcing actual implementation, Kuwait's News Agency reported on Sunday.
  • Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman reportedly decided to delay introducing VAT until later in 2018 and 2019.

December 24 - 30

  • QCB reserves increase. The Qatar central bank’s international reserves and foreign currency liquidity rose slightly in November, official data showed on Sunday.
  • The reserves and liquidity, a measure of the central bank’s ability to support the riyal currency, increased to $36.9 billion last month from $36.1 billion in October.
  • Qatar, Saudi deny "coup" report. Qatar's embassy issued a statement on Wednesday denying Turkish media reports of Turkish soldiers foiling an attempted military coup staged by Saudi Arabia. The embassy said the reports were baseless.
  • Saudi Arabia's embassy in Ankara issued a similar statement denying the report.
  • Kuwait says GCC to keep operating despite crisis. Despite the spat the GCC's work "will not be frozen or disrupted," Khaled al-Jarallah, the deputy foreign minister said on Wednesday. 
  • Kuwait is expected to hold a conference that will bring together parliament speakers from the Gulf region on January 8 and 9. 
  • Turkey sends new soldiers to Qatar. On Tuesday, a group of Turkish soldiers arrived at a military base in Doha, according to Qatar’s Defense Ministry.The soldiers will join another group which previously arrived at Tariq bin Ziyad military base in the Gulf state.
  • Qatar's emir concludes West Africa tour. On Monday, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani concluded his trip around West Africa to Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, and Ghana.
  • "In Ghana, we have laid down the basis for a broader partnership, along with HE President Nana Akufo-Addo, paving the way to important bilateral projects in vital areas such as air transport, sport and food security," the Emir tweeted. 
  • Qatar stocks fell in 2017. Bloomberg reported on Sunday that Qatar's stock exchange index is near its lowest in eight years, down by 18 percent in 2017. 
  • Qatar won't compete in chess tournament. Qatar will not compete in the World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships hosted by Saudi Arabia in Riyadh from December 26-30.
  • According to the Qatar Chess Federation, their top national team will not compete in the tournament, because the organisers demanded that "the players not display the Qatari flag at any stage during the competition".

December 17 - 23

  • 36 fighter jets. The US Department of Defense has announced on Friday that Boeing has been awarded a $6.2bn contract to manufacture 36 F-15 fighter jets for Qatar's air force.
  • Saudi footballers shun media. Politics has overshadowed football after Saudi Arabia's team refused to talk to the press on Thursday due to the presence of Qatar-based news channels, including Al Jazeera. 
  • Gulf Cup begins. The 23rd edition of the tournament that was to be held in Qatar starts on December 22 in Kuwait. The tournament will see Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain and the UAE competing for the title.
  • Kuwait's Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Minister of Commerce and Industry Khaled al-Roudhan welcomed on Thursday the arrival of missions of all GCC member states to the football cup as "the most important sign of success".
  • Saudi permanently closes land border. According to a letter issued by Saudi Arabia's customs directorate on Tuesday, the Salwa border gate had been shut off permanently since Monday night.
  • Qatar's finances boosted. The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) is seeing a surge in business as Qataris register more of their assets at home and multinationals boost their local presence, its chief executive Yousuf al-Jaida told Reuters.
  • This reflects nervousness among the country's elite that investments registered abroad could be frozen, as well as a desire by international companies to maintain close ties with the world's biggest liquefied gas producer, the chief executive said.
  • QCB launches investigation. "We will not stand by while our country is attacked in this manner," Qatar's central bank governor Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud Al Thani said on Tuesday, according to Reuters, adding that the central bank had hired New York-based law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP to lead the investigation.
  • Qatar celebrates National Day. Qatar celebrated its National Day on Sunday amid the ongoing Gulf diplomatic crisis.
  • In a show of support for Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar set a new Guinness World Record on Sunday for having the highest number of people take part in the creation of a portrait of him dubbed the 'Dignity Image', Qatar's Interior Ministry announced.
  • In a show of support for Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar set a new Guinness World Record on Sunday for having the highest number of people take part in the creation of a portrait of him dubbed the 'Dignity Image', Qatar's Interior Ministry announced.

December 10 - 16

  • Amnesty International calls for end to siege. The human rights group said on Saturday that the blockade on Qatar is "arbitrarily splitting up families" across the Gulf region.
  • US official accuses Qatar and Turkey. Turkey's Foreign Ministry responded to Wednesday to remarks made against it by US National Security Advisor HR McMaster.
  • At a think-tank on Tuesday, McMaster accused Qatar and Turkey of having become the "main sponsors" of "radical Islamist ideology".
  • Turkey dismissed the allegations as "baseless" and called on the US to "cease all forms of cooperation with terrorist groups such as YPG".
  • Qatar budgets for blockade. Released on Tuesday, Qatar's 2018 budget plan projects higher spending on supporting food security projects.
  • Qatar's Finance Minister said that Qatar was determined never again to leave itself as vulnerable as it was in the initial weeks of the blockade, Reuters reported. 
  • UAE official discharged. Yousef Al Serkal, president of the UAE General Sports Authority, was discharged from his position on Tuesday, according to local media.
  • UAE's local media had earlier criticised Al Serkal over a video that showed him hugging a Qatari official.
  • Qatar, UK sign fighter jet deal. BAE Systems and Qatar have entered into a contract valued at around $8bn for the country to buy 24 Typhoon combat aircraft, the British defence group said on Sunday.

For previous developments click here 

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