A Dustup in the Gulf

The Meaning of the Intramonarchy Spat

A border crossing between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, June 12. Tom Finn / REUTERS

Considering the religious, cultural, and historical commonalities among the monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula, the relations among their governments can be remarkably fraught. The latest spat centers around a military graduation ceremony attended by the emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, on May 23. Later that day, the state-run Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported that Tamim made a speech at the ceremony, in which he mentioned tensions between Qatar and the United States, questioned how long U.S. President Donald Trump would remain in power, argued that Hamas was the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, reaffirmed Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, and noted Qatar’s good relations with Israel. A few hours later, QNA’s Twitter account published three tweets announcing the discovery of a plot by Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates to discredit Qatar. Qatar, QNA said, was withdrawing its ambassadors

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