Middle East diplomacy- Indians in Qatar urged to 'stay alert'
The Indian embassy in Doha has urged the 630,000 nationals living there to "stay alert", even as four Arab countries severed all relations with Qatar. "The embassy of India…is in touch with Qatari authorities to ensure the safety and security of Indian nationals in Qatar," it said. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have accused Doha of backing terrorist groups including IS and al-Qaeda.
Qatar: A patron of terror
Although Qatar has repeatedly denied its support for extremist groups it is a top funder of Israeli terror organization Hamas and the Jabhat-Al-Nusra, Al Qaeda's Syrian front. The Egyptian and Saudi Arabian governments have further alleged Qatar's backing of extremist organizations including Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and the ISIS. Qatar also currently hosts the 'Taliban 5', the senior Taliban leadership with known terror links.
What does India stand to lose?
Speaking on the ongoing diplomatic crisis in the Middle East, External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj called it an intra-Gulf-Co-operation Council affair, with no implications for India. "Our only concern is about Indians there. We are trying to find out if any Indians are stuck there", she added However, possibility remains that Indian businesses in Qatar and movements of Indian expatriates could get affected.
New Delhi working with Qatar to maintain normalcy
Sources have confirmed that despite the closing of routes with major countries, Qatar is well-stocked. As one of the richest countries, it is expected to invest its resources in maintaining people staying there. The Indian government has also reportedly offered to send in supplies. It has also assured cooperation in times of need, and is ready for relief operations if needed, sources said.