Saudi Arabia-Qatar. From cooperation to confrontation

The Arab world in transition

  • Araks Pashayan The Institute of Oriental Studies NAS RA
Keywords: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Iran, boycott, blockade, crisis, Muslim Brotherhood, Arab Spring


On June 5, 2017, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and its allies subjected Qatar to a series of boycotts and blockades. The initiative came from KSA, which was concerned over Qatar’s growing ambitions to become an influential state in the region. In these terms, the launch of the blockade was intended to diminish Qatar’s political autonomy and economic independence. Qatar never saw its tiny population and territory as a barrier to an independent foreign policy or regional influence. It should be noted that as early as in March 2014, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recalled representatives of their countries’ diplomatic missions from Doha, as Qatar authorities had not actually fulfilled their set-forth demands.1 At that time Qatar was accused of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood2 through the Middle East and North Africa and beyond, as well as establishing dangerous cooperation with Turkey and Iran. The causes of the crisis are directly related also to the coming to power new, young, and ambitious leaders in KSA, Qatar, and UAE who have become the very architects of drawing new milestones of foreign policy for their countries. Saudi Arabia and its allies after the turmoil of the Arab Spring, pushed for Qatar to accept its subordinate status.

Author Biography

Araks Pashayan, The Institute of Oriental Studies NAS RA


Araks Pashayan, PhD

Leading research fellow, Department of the Arab Countries IOS, NAS RA. Main field of her scientific interests are Saudi Arabia, political Islam, Islamic factor in regional and international affairs, Armenian communities of Arab countries.