Gulf Arabs Increasingly Split Over Qatar’s State Media

Other GCC States Accuse Qatar of Being in League With Muslim Brotherhood

While the GCC has long tried to present itself as extremely unified on issues of foreign policy, there has long been a tense divide, centering on the emirate of Qatar and, particularly, the state media of Qatar, which often takes positions that run contrary to what the rest of the alliance, and the Saudis in particular, advocate.

These tensions boil over once in awhile, and seem to be happening again in the wake of President Trump’s visit to the region, with the Qatari Emir even having to schedule a visit to Kuwait to try to tamp down concerns from the other GCC states related to Qatar’s positions.

This comes on a few fronts, with the longest standing issue Qatar’s position on the Muslim Brotherhood. While the government denies any direct ties with the brotherhood, they also aren’t overtly hostile to the group, which is treated as virtually a terrorist organization in some other countries, particularly as it relates to the group’s political ambitions. Qatar state media is indeed, often seen as “sympathetic” to the brotherhood, which is constantly fueling diplomatic tensions.

Those tensions got even worse after Trump’s visit, when Qatari state media reported the Emir had cautioned against seeking a military confrontation with Iran, which led both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to express outrage, as they’re backing Trump’s call for confrontation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.