Will America Ban Qatar Airways?
Qatar Airways faces disaster as the owner, the Qatari Government has been labeled a terrorist by it’s neighboring Arab countries.
Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen have severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing the country of backing terrorist groups.
The Saudi state news agency SPA alleged that Qatar “embraces multiple terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at disturbing stability in the region, including the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS and Al-Qaeda, and promotes the message and schemes of these groups through their media constantly.”
The Saudi-led coalition has announced that Qatar’s participation in its joint military operation in Yemen has been canceled. The coalition’s statement accused Doha of supporting the Al-Qaeda and Islamic State terrorist groups.
The small Arab country of Qatar, bordered only by Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf, has long been accused of allowing terror financiers to operate within its borders. The country has been called “the Club Med for Terrorists” and “most two-faced nation in the world, backing the U.S.-led coalition against the militants of the Islamic State while providing a permissive environment, in the words of one top American official, for terrorist financiers to operate with impunity.”
Accusations come from a wide variety of sources including intelligence reports, government officials, and journalists. The Telegraph, a British newspaper, even started a “Stop the Funding of Terror” journalism campaign.
At the official level, the Qatari government pledged support for Hamas, the Palestinian group designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States, Israel, Egypt and Canada.
In response to these allegations, on September 25, 2014, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, went on American television to defend his country against claims that it harbors terrorist financiers. In an interview on CNN, the Emir stated that Qatar is committed to fighting ISIS for the long-term.
The Qatari government has a designated terrorist list. As of 2014, the list contained no names. In general, in spite of its official commitment to a number of domestic and international initiatives centered on countering terrorist finance, Qatar remains non-compliant with international sanctions designating terrorists based on its territory, many of which still live with impunity on Qatari soil.
Qatar also hosts the US military’s Central Command and some 10,000 US troops, with American forces using its Al-Udeid airbase. AP said there was no immediate response from the Pentagon on the situation.
US President Donald Trump met with the Qatari emir during his recent visit to Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, describing the royal delegation as “friends” and marking that “our relationship is extremely good.” But that should be reviewed, if the Arabian group is accusing Qatar then the US should run a full and complete investigation.
Qatar Airways will be severely impacted by the political storm.
Qatar Airways Company Q.C.S.C. is the state-owned flag carrier of Qatar. Headquartered in the Qatar Airways Tower in Doha, the airline operates a hub-and-spoke network, linking over 150 international destinations across Africa, Central Asia, Europe, Far East, South Asia, Middle East, North America, South America and Oceania from its base at Hamad International Airport, using a fleet of more than 180 aircraft.
Qatar Airways Group employs more than 40,000 people, of whom 24,000 work directly for Qatar Airways. The carrier has been a member of the Oneworld alliance since October 2013, the first Gulf carrier to sign with one of the three airline alliances.