- Created: Wednesday, 28 June 2017 14:51
- Written by Trevor Rayne
On 5 June Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates cut off transport links and diplomatic relations with Qatar. They accuse Qatar of support for terrorism and complicity with Iran, after Qatar paid about $1bn in ransom payments to Iranian officials and Tahrir Al Sham, an Al Qaeda affiliate group, for the release of members of its royal family, captured and held hostage while on a hunting trip to Iraq. Qatar is viewed by Saudi Arabia as insufficiently hostile to Iran and Qatar supported the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, loathed by the Saudis, who backed its overthrow in 2013. Qatar has retained ties with the Syrian government, opposed by the Saudis, and it may seek to fund the rebuilding of post-war Syria. This would give it influence in Syria, across which oil companies want to install a pipeline route from the Gulf to Europe via Turkey (Robert Fisk The Independent 8 June 2017).