The Qatar crisis two months on: a timeline

Mohammed El-Said
5 Min Read

Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Bahrain, in addition to Egypt are in a dispute with Qatar, accusing it of supporting, funding, and inciting terrorism in Arab countries. Qatar has defended its position and, in turn, criticised the boycotting states’ “unfounded claims”.

To date, the boycotting states continue to escalate against Qatar and uphold demands that Qatar should “drop activities that support terrorism”.

Below is a timeline of the major events that unfolded since the beginning of the crisis.

24 May – Remarks attributed to Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani spark controversy to which Saudi Arabia and the UAE respond by blocking Qatari media, Al-Jazeera included.

The emir’s press statements praise Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah and threaten to recall Qatar’s ambassadors from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt.

Qatar denies authenticity of statements, calls it a cyberattack.

05 June – Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Yemen, announce suspension of relations with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism, disturbing security in the region. Libya’s eastern-based government and the Maldives also join the boycott.

Measures against Qatar include closure of transport ties including airspace, expelling diplomatic delegations and withdrawing ambassadors to Qatar. Qatari visitors and residents given two weeks to leave countries. Qatar expelled from Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.

Qatar continues to deny accusations, claims to have been subjected to a campaign of lies and fabrication.

06 June – Arab League Secretary-General says he “feels sorry about the situation,” hoping tensions will calm for sake of Arab World security.

US President Donald Trump tweets welcome the Gulf measures, but US army asserts military base in Qatar to stay intact.

07 June –  Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah arrives to Qatar after meeting with King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

Turkey deploys troops to its military base in Qatar as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan expressed his country’s solidarity with Qatar.

09 June – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urges Gulf countries to ease the boycott.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain place 59 individuals and 12 organisations that are Qatar-based or funded by Qatar on a terror list. List includes Egyptian figures whom Qatar was accused of supporting.

UN says it is not bound by such a list, but only by “sanctions put together by UN bodies”.

10 June – Qatar rejects terror list and allegations of supporting terrorism.

18 June – Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Adel Al-Jubeir claims a list of complaints will be presented to Qatar.

22 June –  Ten-day ultimatum issued, Qatar is to comply with a 13-point demand list.

02 July – Deadline for Qatar to respond to the states’ demands, but Kuwaiti mediation succeeds in a one-day extension.

03 July – Qatari foreign minister arrives in Kuwait to hand over Qatar’s response to the 13 demands from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain.

05 July – Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain hold a meeting in Cairo, concluding that Qatar’s response was negative, calling on the state to stop interfering in the affairs of Arab countries and supporting terrorism.

07 July – The Suez Canal Authority bans Qatari ships, except those carrying oil, from docking at the canal’s ports.

11 July – The US signs with Qatar an agreement to confront the financing of terrorism during Tillerson’s visit to Doha, but the boycotting states consider the step insufficient.

16 July – The Washington Post reported that US intelligence officials asserted that the UAE is behind hacking Qatari governmental news and social media outlets.

17 July – UAE’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash denied that his country was involved in any alleged hacking of Qatari websites.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry announces that the Qataris are no longer free to enter Egypt without a visa, exempting spouses and children of Egyptian nationals and Qatari students in Egypt.
30 July – Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain speak of a possible dialogue with Qatar for the first time, but maintain conditions, in the Manama meeting.


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Mohammed El-Said is the Science Editor for the Daily News Egypt with over 8 years of experience as a journalist. His work appeared in the Science Magazine, Nature Middle East, Scientific American Arabic Edition, SciDev and other regional and international media outlets. El-Said graduated with a bachelor's degree and MSc in Human Geography, and he is a PhD candidate in Human Geography at Cairo University. He also had a diploma in media translation from the American University in Cairo.
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