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Saudi Arabia to dig canal along Qatar border turning it into an island

11th Apr 2018
Saudi Arabia to dig canal along Qatar border turning it into an island

By Mohamed Fahd

 

RIYADH (AA): A Saudi official has confirmed reports of plans to dig a maritime channel along the kingdom’s border with Qatar — a move that would effectively turn the Qatari peninsula into an island.

Saoud al-Qahtani, a counselor at the Saudi Royal Court, tweeted on Tuesday that the project was intended to punish Qatar for perceived political transgressions.

Last summer, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain collectively severed ties with Qatar, creating one of the biggest crises in inter-Arab relations in recent history.

The Saudi-led bloc vowed to impose further sanctions on Doha if the latter failed to comply with a list of demands. Those demands included the closure of Qatar-based news broadcaster Al Jazeera and a mitigation of Qatar’s diplomatic ties with Iran.

Last week, media outlets reported that Saudi Arabia planned to dig a 60-kilometer-long maritime channel along its border with tiny Qatar, promising to complete the project within 12 months.

According to media reports, the channel will be dug roughly one kilometer inside Saudi territory.

The project will also reportedly include construction of a Saudi military base and nuclear-waste dump near the border.

According to al-Qahtani, Saudi Arabia has the “legal right” to alter the region’s geography — and build a military base and waste dump — if deemed necessary.

Saudi newspaper Sabq has reported that the project would be carried out by a consortium of nine local investors at a total cost of 2.8 billion Saudi riyals (roughly $750 million).

[Saudi Arabia Map with Gulf States by NormanEinstein/Creative Commons]

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