First Published: 2017-08-10

Qatar seeks to end isolation with investments, deals
Gulf emirate’s deals in defence, weapons, football are latest of several measures to escape pressure of its isolation.
Middle East Online

What's the next step?

DOHA - Qatar introducing visa-free entry for 80 nationalities on Wednesday is the latest of several measures to end the emirate's isolation two months into a crisis with its neighbours.

- Isolated -

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and the Maldives sever diplomatic ties with Qatar.

They accuse it of supporting "terrorists" and of being too close to Iran, Saudi Arabia's regional rival.

It is the biggest diplomatic crisis to hit the region in years.

The countries also impose economic sanctions, shutting down air, maritime and land links with Qatar.

Qatar accuses its Gulf neighbours of seeking to put it under "guardianship" and of strangling it economically.

- US fighter jets -

On June 14, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and his Qatari counterpart Khaled Al-Attiyah seal a $12-billion deal for the sale to Doha of F-15 fighter jets.

Qatar is home to a huge US air base, where the headquarters of Centcom -- the regional command which leads operations against the jihadist Islamic State group -- is based.

- Major gas project -

On July 4, energy-rich Qatar says it plans to increase natural gas production by 30 percent to 100 million tonnes a year by 2024.

- Partnership with Total -

On July 11, Qatar Petroleum and French energy giant Total announce the launch of a 25-year joint venture to develop the Al-Shaheen oil field, off Qatar's northeastern coast.

- Italian warships -

On August 2, Qatar announces a five-billion-euro order for seven warships from Italy.

- War games with Ankara -

From August 1 to 7, Qatar and Turkey hold military exercises in the emirate that involve some 250 Turkish troops and 30 armoured vehicles.

Sanctions imposed on Doha have led Qatar to turn to Turkey and Iran for its food needs.

- Neymar transfer -

On August 4, Brazilian footballer Neymar arrives in Paris to join his new club Paris Saint-Germain owned by Qatar, which put up more than 220 million euros for his transfer.

- Visa-free entry -

On August 9, Qatar, introduces a visa-free entry programme for 80 nationalities to stimulate air transport and tourism.

 

Yemen rebels warn Saleh will bear consequences

Iraqi forces advance against IS in Tal Afar

US, Gulf officials hold talks on Mideast peace

Taliban warns Afghanistan will become 'graveyard' for US

Stranded migrants feel unwelcome in hostile Bulgaria

Air raid on Yemen capital kills dozens of civilians

After Barcelona, ISIS-inspired threats in Europe continue

Netanyahu tells Putin that Iran’s growing Syria role is threat to Israel

Israel to strip accused Muslims of citizenship

Cairo warns against US decision to withhold aid

Iranian opposition leaders ‘protected’ by house arrest

Turkish FM to tell Iraqi Kurds to cancel independence vote

Qatar approves law for protecting domestic workers

Pentagon chief arrives in Turkey for talks on Syria, Kurds

Two arrested in Morocco over suspected links to Barcelona attackers

Iraqi forces retake three districts of IS-held Tal Afar

Lebanon army says in final stage of IS border battle

Spanish town Ripoll reels from discovery of it’s young jihadists

Jordan opens first job centre in Syrian refugee camp

Outrage in Morocco over sexual assault video

Former Libyan premiere Ali Zeidan still held by kidnappers

Syria opposition talks in Riyadh end with no breakthrough

Erdogan vows to prevent Kurdish ‘terror corridor’ in Syria

Iraqi troops recapture first two districts from IS bastion

UN says thousands fleeing Tel Afar amid anti-IS offensive

Second round of Kurdish referendum talks could happen next week

Dozens killed in coalition strikes as US-backed forces advance in Raqa

Iran back to high enrichment 'in 5 days' if US quits nuclear deal

Two North Korean shipments to Syrian chemical weapons program intercepted

German foreign minister says Erdogan backers threatened his wife

Turkey arrests former national goalkeeper for ‘coup links’

Iran in negotiations to unblock Twitter

Yemeni FM says Iran 'part of the problem' in Yemen

On the trail of Spain's attackers

Mattis in Baghdad to support Iraqi forces

UN urges Iraq to do more for IS sex abuse victims

Erdogan critic stunned Turkey's 'long arm' reached Spain

Spanish police shoot dead man who could be Barcelona attacker

Iraqi forces close in on last IS bastion in country’s north

Kuwait arrests 13 fugitives in Iran-linked terror case

Qatar blocks planes from transporting pilgrims

Erdogan says joint op with Iran against Kurds ‘on the agenda’

Barcelona attack fugitive ‘dangerous, possibly armed’ warn police

Lebanese president ratifies public sector wage rise, tax hike

Young Syrian refugees want end of war and ISIS