Saudi Arabia Hints at Plan to Turn Qatar into an Island

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

A Saudi official has hinted the kingdom was moving forward with a plan to dig a canal that would turn the neighboring Qatari peninsula into an island, amid a diplomatic feud between the Gulf nations.

"I am impatiently waiting for details on the implementation of the Salwa island project, a great, historic project that will change the geography of the region," Saud al-Qahtani, a senior adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, said on Twitter.

The plan, which would physically separate the Qatari peninsula from the Saudi mainland, is the latest stress point in a highly fractious 14-month long dispute between the two states.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar in June 2017, accusing it of supporting terrorism and being too close to Riyadh's archrival, Iran -- charges Doha denies.

In April, the pro-government Sabq news website reported government plans to build a channel -– 60 kilometres (38 miles) long and 200 metres wide –- stretching across the kingdom's border with Qatar.

Part of the canal, which would cost up to 2.8 billion riyals ($750 million), would be reserved for a planned nuclear waste facility, it said.

Five unnamed companies that specialise in digging canals had been invited to bid for the project and the winner will be announced in September, Makkah newspaper reported in June.

Saudi authorities did not respond to requests for comment and there was no immediate reaction on the plan from Qatar.

After the dispute erupted last year, Qatar -- a small peninsula nation -- found its only land border closed, its state-owned airline barred from using its neighbours' airspace, and Qatari residents expelled from the boycotting countries.

Mediation efforts led by Kuwait and the US, which has its largest Middle East air base in Qatar, have so far failed to resolve the dispute.

Comments 13
Thumb galaxy 01 September 2018, 11:37

Turn it into an island, tow it, and drop it off the coast of Iran.

Thumb s.o.s 01 September 2018, 12:35

"...reserved for a planned nuclear waste facility"

Hopefully they'll hire a Homer Simpson to run it!

Missing sanctify 01 September 2018, 12:40

What a waste of money. A US or European contractor will get the job.

Thumb lebanon_first 01 September 2018, 15:33

Yareit they turn Lebanon into an island and put as much distance as possible between us and the evil bullying baath regime

Thumb doodle-dude 01 September 2018, 16:48

loool @giga.tric

Thumb whyaskwhy 01 September 2018, 18:07

you give bower zmick lol
These rumors are abound this story came out a few days ago and although sounds odd it gains neither side anything. Qataris by origin are mostly from KSA and need to fall in line with the rest of the region or continue to face alienation. The Iranians would hapily dig the trench by hand to keep their dagger in Saudis back.
Qatar just needs to amend its rift and accept that aiding terror will not achieve their megalomaniac dreams of becoming a super power.

Thumb whyaskwhy 01 September 2018, 18:07

Yes zmik death to the infidels!

Thumb doodle-dude 01 September 2018, 18:46

btw giga tric, it is Salaphyst not Salaphist

Missing bigjohn 01 September 2018, 20:14

Qatar is and will be in better financial shape than KSA. Unlike Qater, in the KSA you have millions of poor waiting to rebel as soon as government benefits are significantly cut, which will have to happen in the new future.

Thumb justin 01 September 2018, 20:20

John, what about Iran? Do you have any opinions about the poor over there?

Missing bigjohn 01 September 2018, 21:04

There are a significant number of poor in Iran. I am talking about economic inequality. There is no comparison between KSA and Iran. What leader you know in Iran who bought a painting or a boat for hundreds of millions of dollars stolen from the nation's oil wealth? There are 5 times more Iranians in Iran than Saudis in the KSA while Iran has been selling one fifth of the oil of that of the KSA (that i 25 times per capita if you do the math of oil wealth). If it was not for oil, the illiterate rulers of the KSA would have not lasted a day in power today and would have been the laughing stock of the Arab world.

Iran under the Shah was not a poor country. But, the rulers were seen as a western corporate puppets, and there was extreme income inequality. The Islamic state of Iran (I prefer it was progressive) has lasted 40 years when a popular uprising supported by Islamists and leftists/secularists overthrew a kingdom like that of the KSA 40 years ago.

Thumb marcus 02 September 2018, 11:50

little irani, your ayatollah has billions not millions stashed.

Thumb whyaskwhy 02 September 2018, 01:55

Great cut and paste. Simply posting a link to your diatribe may have saved us all the time wastage BJ. So Iran has 5 times the population of KSA which rounds up to 150MM people? And of course as you said its econimcaly in far better shape too....I wonder what the Iranians are in revolt about then?