The tiny nation of the Maldives have this week become one of the only non-Arab country to join the Saudi Arabia and UAE led move to isolate Qatar. All this took place right after the recent UAE leaks that exposed the UAE Ambassador to the US, Yousef al-Otaiba played a huge role in the campaign to tarnish Qatar’s image.
The leaks also showed the UAE Ambassador working closely for many years with a pro-Israeli think-tank that is influential in the Republican circles of Washington. It also exposed Al-Otaiba on the secret roles the UAE and Saudi Arabia played in the bloody violent coup in Egypt against its first democratically elected President Dr. Morsi.
In addition, it gave evidence to the much-claimed accusations by some Turkish officials that Saudi Arabia & UAE had some role they played in the recent failed coup attempt in Turkey. Al-Otaiba discussed with his US counterpart via email their support for the coup against Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
With all this now out in public, the question is why a supposedly 100% Muslim country like the Maldives joined this tense crisis? The Maldives opposition members claim that this shows that the Maldives government does actually support Israel since the UAE was working with a pro-Israeli think tank because Qatar is known to support the Palestinian’s right to resist occupation.
To many Maldivians, this would be a puzzle because the country has always had good relations with Qatar. The Maldives is known in Asia to be a country that welcomed tourists and people of all nations. However, opposition figures claim that this once tolerant and welcoming nation is now being destroyed by the growing influence of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has pledged to invest billions in the Maldives and the opposition believes that with this investment comes the selling of their country’s sovereignty to a foreign undemocratic country where women are not allowed to drive.