After a demand made by U.S. President Donald Trump for Muslim states to strengthen the fight against terrorism in the Middle East on Monday, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar because of the country’s support for Islamist militants, in particular the Muslim Brotherhood.
“You have a shift in the balance of power in the Gulf now because of the new presidency: Trump is strongly opposed to political Islam and Iran,” Dr Rickli told Reuters.
Extending this analysis, Dr Rickli told Business Insider the “measures that have been taken by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the other states are the equivalent of an economic blockade,” particularly affecting food security and trade. The plan to isolate the country has led Qatar’s citizens to rush supermarkets, attempting to stock up on food supplies before they run out and cannot be replenished. This isolation will only increase as food prices rise, foreign banks halt operation and travel to and from Qatar slows.
Dr Rickli also gave interviews in French and German to Le Monde, Le Temps, RTS and NZZ in which he emphasised the “unprecedented gravity” of the diplomatic crisis and called its resolution “very uncertain.”