How regional rivalries and mistrust lie beneath the current tension in the Gulf.
…The underlying tensions between Qatar and three of her Gulf neighbours in particular have been visible for two decades.
…the emir of Qatar pursues a series of policies which simply don’t fit into the rigid orthodoxy expected by most of the others, notably Saudi Arabia, the superpower of Sunni Islam.
His unconventional foreign policy is seen as a threat to Sunni solidarity, particularly because the emir and his ministers promote dialogue and a search for good relations with the rival regional superpower, Shia Muslim Iran.
…the single most powerful motive behind the blockade may be a quite different one: the desire to rein in, or even to close down, one of the emir of Qatar’s most cherished projects – the global television news channels of Al-Jazeera.
He sees Al-Jazeera as an agent of positive change across the Arab world, opening up political debate, reporting on the challenges from ordinary people from the street, so evident during the “Arab Spring”.
…Several member states of the Arab League have lined up behind the anti-Qatar campaign. Equally, both Turkey and Russia are consolidating their positions as friends to Qatar.