Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry together with his counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates attend a press conference, announcing that they will continue their diplomatic and economic boycott of Qatar after the Gulf nation responded negatively to their list of demands (XINHUA)
In June, several countries abruptly cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar. These countries included Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Egypt, Mauritius, Mauritania, the Maldives and Libya. The severing of relations included closing borders, withdrawing ambassadors as well as imposing trade and travel bans.
Tensions between Qatar and the above-mentioned Arab countries have escalated in recent years as part of a tussle for regional leadership between Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Qatar has allegedly backed Islamist movements in the Middle East in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011 to the chagrin of Saudi Arabia and the UAE in particular. Qatar's improved relationship with Iran was also criticized by these countries, as Tehran is regarded as the arch-enemy of Saudi Arabia. The diplomatic crisis has split the Gulf Cooperation Council and will also affect the regional stability in the long run.
Copyedited by Francisco Little
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