UAE Bans All Expression of Sympathy Towards Qatar
- Abu Dhabi Petroleum Ports Authority has re-imposed a ban on Oil tankers linked to Qatar
- Bahrain demands that Qatar distance itself from Iran
- Saudi and its allies add people, groups with Qatar links to terrorism lists
- Qatar vows no surrender in Gulf crisis as US, Kuwait seek solution
- Taliban prisoners at Guantanamo accept transfer to Qatar (2012)
Note: 5 Top Taliban leaders held by the US in the Guantanamo Bay military prison told a visiting Afghan delegation they agree to a proposed transfer to the Gulf state of Qatar, opening the door for a possible move aimed at bringing the Taliban into peace talks, Afghan officials said in Y 2014. Congress opposed the transfer, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Hussein Obama, overrode Congress and sent the Top Terrorist to Qatar to live freely. Qatar gave The Clinton Foundation a 1-M donation in October 2016. These activities beg the questions of Hussein Obama and Bill & Hillary Clinton’s ties to ISIS terrorist activities world wide.
Offenders of UAE “Squeeze” will face a jail term and also be hit with a fine of at least Dhs500,000
The UAE tightened the squeeze on fellow Gulf state Qatar Wednesday threatening anyone publishing expressions of sympathy towards it with up to 15 years in prison, and barring Qatari passport or resident Visa holders entry.
Efforts to defuse the regional crisis, prompted last Monday when the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and others severed diplomatic ties with Qatar over alleged support for Islamist groups and Iran, showed no immediate signs of success.
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash threatened more curbs if necessary and said Qatar needed to make “iron-clad” commitments to change policies on funding militants.
Qatar vehemently denies giving such support.
US President Donald Trump took sides in the rift Tuesday, praising the actions against Qatar, but later spoke by phone with Saudi King Salman and stressed the need for Gulf unity.
US Defense Secretary, James Mattis, also spoke to his Qatari counterpart to express commitment to the Gulf region’s security. Qatar hosts 8,000 US military personnel at al Udeid, the largest US air base in the Middle East and a launchpad for US-led strikes on the ISIL militant group.
Kuwait’s emir has also been seeking to mediate, meeting Saudi’s king on Tuesday.
Qatar’s isolation from powerful fellow Arab states advanced, however.
UAE-based newspaper Gulf News and pan-Arab channel Al-Arabiya 1st reported the crackdown on expressions of sympathy with Qatar.
“Strict and firm action will be taken against anyone who shows sympathy or any form of bias towards Qatar, or against anyone who objects to the position of the United Arab Emirates, whether it be through the means of social media, or any type of written, visual or verbal form,” Gulf News quoted UAE Attorney-General Hamad Saif al-Shamsi as saying.
On top of a possible jail term, offenders could also be hit with a fine of at least Dhs500,000, the newspaper said, citing a statement to Arabic-language media.
Since the diplomatic row erupted, slogans against and in support of Qatar have dominated Twitter in Arabic, a platform used widely in the Arab world, particularly in Saudi Arabia.
Newspapers and television channels in the region have also been engaged in a war of words over Qatar’s role.
The UAE’s state-owned Etihad Airways, meanwhile, said all travellers holding Qatari passports were currently prohibited from travelling to or transiting through the emirates on government instructions.
Foreigners residing in Qatar and in possession of a Qatari residence visa would also not be eligible for visa on arrival in the UAE, Etihad spokesman said in an email.
“This ruling applies to all airlines flying into the UAE,” the spokesman said in the statement.
Those breaking ties with Qatar are the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the Maldives, Mauritania and Libya’s eastern-based government. Jordan has downgraded its diplomatic representation and revoked the license of Doha-based TV channel Al Jazeera.
Ordinary Qataris were loading up on supplies in supermarkets, fearing shortages. But financial markets were relatively calm after some recent jumps.
Qatar’s stock index was roughly unchanged after plummeting 8.7 per cent over the last two days.
“Tensions are still high and mediation efforts by fellow Gulf Cooperation Council state Kuwait have yet to lead to a concrete solution, so investors will likely remain on edge,” said one Dubai-based trader.
Qatar has said it will not retaliate against the curbs.
“We are willing to sit and talk,” Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told CNN late on Tuesday. He said his country was “protecting the world from potential terrorists”.
A Qatari official, however, said the rift was pushing Doha in the direction of leaving the six-state Gulf Cooperation Council, “with deep regret”.
Bans on Doha’s fleet using regional ports and anchorages are threatening to halt some of its exports and disrupt those of LNG (liquefied natural gas).
Traders on global markets worried that Riyadh’s allies would refuse to accept LNG shipments from the Gulf state, the world’s largest liquefied natural gas exporter, and that Egypt might even bar tankers carrying Qatari cargoes from using the Suez Canal as they head to Europe and beyond.
Abu Dhabi Petroleum Ports Authority has re-imposed a ban on Oil tankers linked to Qatar calling at ports in the United Arab Emirates, reversing an earlier decision to ease restrictions, and potentially creating a logjam of crude cargoes.
The Port Authority circular was issued late on Wednesday and seen by Reuters on Thursday. It states: “Denial of entry into any of the Petroleum Ports, for all vessels arriving from, or destined to Qatar, regardless of its flag.” That was followed by a notice from the UAE’s state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) Thursday with the same language also seen by Reuters.
The ban on all vessels carrying the Qatari flag and vessels owned or operated by Qatar remains in place and those ships will not be allowed into its petroleum ports, the port authority circulars said.
The Abu Dhabi port authorities had eased the restrictions just a day earlier.
The ban would potentially disrupt the common industry practice of co-loading oil cargoes from different countries onto a tanker to lower the costs of shipping. Preventing the co-loading of Qatari and other Middle East grades could add to refiners’ transport costs and create logistical jams.
“ADNOC has officially confirmed that we cannot co-load to and from (Qatar). So we need to find new vessels, then find co-loadings around the region,” said a source from an Asian refiner according to Reuters.
Saudi and its allies add people, groups with Qatar links to terrorism lists
Among the 18 Qataris named are alleged terrorism financiers as well as prominent businessmen, politicians and senior members of the ruling family
Bahrain demands that Qatar distance itself from Iran
Bahrain’s Foreign Minister stresses that Qatar needs to “stop supporting terrorist organisations”
Qatar vows no surrender in Gulf crisis as US, Kuwait seek solution
“We are not ready to surrender, and will never be ready to surrender,” said Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani.