Qatar. In the March 8 election to a newly-established, National Advisory Council on Local Affairs, women for the first time in Qatar got both a vote and a candidate. Visit Countryaah official website to get information about the capital city of Qatar. There were six women among the 220 candidates, but none of them were elected to the assembly. The turnout was less than 50%.
In June, Qatar and Saudi Arabia agreed on new border lines including around the disputed area of Dawhat Salwa. Relations had been strained since Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa ath-Thani deposed her father, Saudi Arabia-allied Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad ath-Thani, in a palace coup in 1995.
Former Minister Hamad bin Jasim bin Hamad ath-Thani, a member of the royal family, was arrested in July on suspicion of involvement in a failed coup attempt in 1996.
In June 2017, Saudi Arabia and its satellite states went into diplomatic war with Qatar. The explanation to the West was “Qatar’s support for terrorism”. The explanation was interesting because the world’s largest support of terror was Saudi Arabia, which, through support for militant Islamist groups in Europe and actual terrorist organizations in the Middle East, supports terror. Qatar does the same. It’s just other organizations. In Egypt, Saudi Arabia supported the extremist Salafist movement in 2011-12, while Qatar supported the more moderate Muslim Brotherhood. In Syria, Qatar supported al-Nusra’s front linked to al-Qaeda, while Saudi Arabia supported IS. At the heart of the conflict was Saudi dissatisfaction with Qatar conducting its own high-profile foreign policy independently of Saudi Arabia. Over the course of a few weeks, however, diplomatic pressure concentrated on the demand for closure of Qatar’s al-Jazeera. The TV station was far more popular than Saudi Arabia’s al-Arabiya and thus a threat to Saudi Arabia’s etheric spread of Wahabism and the interpretation of regional and international politics. To put the kingdom under extra pressure, Saudi Arabia imposed trade and transport sanctions on Qatar. The country was banned from flying over Saudi Arabia and the satellite states participating in the blockade: Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. At the same time, Saudi Arabia ceased its export of food to Qatar, which was otherwise its main source of food. Turkey initially opposed the blockade and conducted military maneuvers with the small Gulf State instead. The US president immediately came to terms with Saudi Arabia and criticized Qatar for its “terrorist support”. It sent the superpowers diplomats into overtime when one of its main air bases in the region was located in Qatar. Also several European countries – including United Kingdom – backed around Saudi Arabia. Kleptocracy was a lucrative market for the European arms industry. (US nears $ 100bn arms deal for Saudi Arabia in time for Trump’s visit, Guardian 13/5 2017; Gulf plunged into diplomatic crisis as countries cut ties with Qatar, Guardian 5/6 2017)
Israel joined the Saudi political war against Yemen. It was in line with Israel’s long-standing media war against al-Jazeera.
As a result of the Saudi political war against the country, Qatar announced in August that it was resuming full diplomatic relations with Iran.
Denmark is actively supporting the suppression of human rights in Qatar. In 2016-17, Dagbladet Information could reveal that the Danish Ministry of Business had granted export authorization for advanced monitoring equipment from the Nørresundby company BAE Systems Applied Intelligence. The permit was for exports to the dictatorial states of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Morocco and Algeria. The advanced electronic equipment was used to monitor and persecute journalists, human rights activists and oppositionists. Even before the Arab Spring of 2011, BAE’s predecessor, ETI, had provided monitoring equipment to the Ben Ali dictatorship in Tunisia.