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Timeline: Crisis in Saudi

16 February 2018: The Saudi owned Al Arabiya News Channel surrenders with immediate affect its UK broadcasting licence held with regulator Ofcom after Qatar complained that it was ‘violating impartiality code and accuracy in news sourcing’.

08 February 2018: Saudi Arabia’s government has acquired a 60% stake in media giant MBC Group a few days after the group’s founder and chairman of its Board of Directors Waleed Al-Ibrahim was released from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel

30 January 2017: Saudi media sources confirm the release of all detainees held on corruption charges at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the capital Riyadh. The purge has  raised $106 billion for  Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman

29 January 2018: Saudi authorities have released renowned businessman Saleh Kamel while Mohammed Al-Amoudi has refused to hand over his money and property. Authorities have reacted by arresting some of his relatives

29 January 2018: Saudi Arabia’s Waleed Al-Ibrahim will keep his 40% management stake in regional television broadcaster MBC after his release from detention in the country’s ‘corruption probe’, a senior MBC executive to says

13 January 2018: Saudi Binladin Group announces that a number of its partners might concede their shares to the government as part of a financial reconciliation package

09 January 2018: Saudi Prince Abdullah Bin Saud Al-Saud was relieved of his post as president of the Saudi Arabia Marine Sports Federation after releasing an audio recording in which he contradicted the authorities’ reasons for arresting 11 princes last week

09 January 2018: The Yemen Army shuts the office of Al Jazeera in besieged Taiz

08 January 2018: Saudi authorities have transferred the remaining detainees being held in the Ritz-Carlton hotel to the maximum security Al-Ha’ir prison, south of Riyadh. The prisoners include Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal

07 January 2018: 11 more princes are arrested after gathering to object to new rules that would demand royals pay for electricity and water

07 January 2018: Saudi authorities have imposed a travel ban on 17 members of prominent cleric Salman Al-Ouda’s immediate family, Human Rights Watch reports

13 December 2017: Studies are being undertaken to decide if the UAE and Saudi Arabia should launch a single digital currency

05 December 2017: Saudi announces that it has completed the first phase in its ‘anti-corruption’ drive, Minister of Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qasabi says

29 November 2017: Saudi Prince Miteb Bin Abdullah, who was head of the elite National Guard, was freed after reaching an ‘acceptable settlement agreement’ with authorities paying more than $1 billion

23 November 2017: Reports that US mercenaries are being used to ‘torture’ the detained princes in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh

22 November 2017: The Wall Street Journal reports that princes arrested in Mohamed Bin Salman’s purge could face trial and jail terms in a maximum security prison if  they do not give up their finaicial assets

22 November 2017: Reports that the arrest of billionaire Saudi businessman Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi could destabilise Ethiopia as a result of his vast investment in the country

Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi [Capital/Facebook]

23 November 2017: Saad Hariri ‘temporarily’ suspends his resignation until consultations are held with officials in Lebanon

21 November 2017: Saad Al-Hariri returns to Beirut for the first time since he resigned as prime minister in a statement delivered from Saudi Arabia

18 November 2017: Saad Hariri arrives in France for his first international visit following his abrupt resignation from the post of prime minister of Lebanon. French President Emmanuel Macron said he would receive Hariri in his capacity as Lebanon’s prime minister

16 November 2017: The Financial Times (FT) reports that Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman is negotiating a settlement which would see the country’s most well-known figures handover 70 per cent of their wealth in exchange for their freedom

09 November 2017: The US refuses to reveal details of a meeting held between its chargé d’affaires in Saudi Arabia and former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri

09 November 2017: The United Arab Emirates planned to wage a financial war against Qatar by targeting the country’s currency ‘using bonds and derivatives manipulation’, leaked emails revealed by the Intercept show

09 November 2017: Saudi Arabia advises its citizens against travelling to Lebanon and asks those in the country to leave as soon as possible, the Kingdom’s official news agency (SPA) reports

09 November 2017: Lebanon believes Saad Hariri is held in Saudi Arabia and unable to return. Lebanon’s former prime minister, said to be worth $1.1 billion has not left the Kingdom since he resigned from there on Saturday

09 November 2017: Saudi Arabia’s attorney-general says 208 people have been called in for questioning in a sweeping anti-corruption investigation, and seven of them have been released without charge, ‘we estimate that at least $100 billion has been misused through systematic corruption and embezzlement’

08 November 2017: Princess Reem, daughter of Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal who was detained on Saturday, becomes the first female to be arrested

07 November 2017Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman personally bribed Donald Trump with $1 billion during the US president’s visit to Riyadh in May, an anonymous Saudi commentator, who uses the Twitter handle Mujtahidd, claims

Crown Prince and Defence Minister of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud attends a Shoura Council meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 13 December 2017 [Bandar Algaloud/Saudi Kingdom Council/Anadolu Agency]

07 November 2017: Saudi Arabia bans Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, his two sons, ministers and military personnel from returning to Aden due to ‘bitter hostility between Hadi and the UAE’ which setup the Southern Transitional Council in the south of Yemen in opposition to Hadi’s rule

07 November 2017: The UAE releases a song called ‘Tell Qatar’, a collaboration between a number of high profile Emirati artists and those who live in the country

09 November 2017: News emerges that earlier this week the UAE instructed its banks and finance companies to provide information on the accounts of 19 Saudi citizens detained by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. They were not ordered to freeze the accounts

08 November 2017: The number of accounts frozen rises to 1,700 including the assets of former Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef are amongst those frozen in the government’s ‘anti-corruption’ crackdown

08 November 2017: Billionaire businessman Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi is found to be one of those arrested. Al-Amoudi is the main foreign investor in Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam. Thought to be worth $10.9 billion, he gave the government $88 million to start the project

08 November 2017: The Wall Street Journal reports that Saudi Arabia’s ‘anti-corruption’ crackdown may see the government seize up to $800 billion in cash and assets

07 November 2017: Yemen’s Houthi armed group offer asylum to anyone affected by Saudi Arabia’s ‘anti-corruption’ campaign. ‘We are ready to offer sanctuary to any member of Al Saud family or any national that wants to flee oppression and persecution,’ they have said

A Houthi soldier and Houthi supporters in Yemen come together

07 November 2017: Sources reveal that helicopter carrying Saudi Prince Mansour Bin Muqrin and seven other people was deliberately targeted by state forces because it is believed Bin Muqrin opposed Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s succession to the throne

07 November 2017: Saudi’s ‘anti-corruption’ drive will boost sustainable development in the Kingdom, the Saudi Cabinet says

07 November 2017: Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri visits the UAE

07 November 2017: Saudi Arabian banks freeze more than 1,200 accounts belonging to individuals and companies in the Kingdom, bankers and lawyers say

06 November 2017: News is released that a no-fly list has been drawn up and security forces in some Saudi airports were barring owners of private jets from taking off without a permit

05 November 2017: Deputy Governor of Saudi Arabia’s southern Asir province, Prince Mansour Bin Muqrin, and seven other people including senior government officials and a mayor are killed in a helicopter crash near Yemen. The Prince is said to be a critic of Bin Salman’s leadership

05 November 2017: Saudi Arabia denies that the princes and former ministers who were arrested are receiving special treatment because of their titles as news emerges that they are being held at the five star Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh

04 November 2017: During a trip to Saudi Arabia, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigns citing an assassination attempt against him and accusing Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah of sowing strife in the Arab world

King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (L) shakes hands with former Prime Minister of Lebanon Saad Hariri (R) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 6 November 2017 [Bandar Algaloud/Anadolu Agency]

04 November 2017: 11 Princes and four current ministers scores of officials are arrested as part of the new ‘anti-corruption’ drive; they include international investor Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal who is worth nearly $17 billion according to Forbes magazine

04 November 2017: Head of the National Guard, Prince Miteb Bin Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, and Minister of Economy and Planning, Adel Bin Mohammed Fakeih, are both sacked as part of a Cabinet reshuffle.

04 November 2017: A royal decree is issued calling for the formation of an ‘anti-corruption committee’ headed by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salam. The new body has the power to seize assets of suspects at home and abroad before the results of its investigations are known

28 October 2017: Saudi Arabia launches a $500 billion mega-city to encompass 50 islands on the Red Sea called NEOM which it hopes will be a tourism hub24 October 2017: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman vows to eradicate Wahabism in the Kingdom and encourage ‘moderate Islam’

03 October 2017: Somalia receives $50 million in new aid from Saudi Arabia

26 September 2017: Women in Saudi Arabia will legally be allowed to obtain driving licences from June next year, following a decree issued by King Salman

18 September 2017: Al Jazeera Media Network’s denounced Snapchat’s decision to pull the plug on its channel at the request of the Saudi government. The social media giant’s ‘alarming’ move sent a message that countries could silence dissenting views by pressuring social media and content distribution companies, Al Jazeera says

11 September 2017: Prominent Saudi religious leader Sheikh Salman Al-Ouda becomes the second cleric to be arrested by Saudi authorities after  Awad Al-Qarni is held. No reason is given for the arrested and neither is charged

4 September 2017: Saudi Arabia’s Rotana record company releases a song called ‘Teach Qatar’, a collaboration between a number of high profile Saudi artists and those who live in the country

22 August 2017: Qatar slams Saudi as despite granting Qatari pilgrims the rite of Hajj, they are only permitted to use Saudi airlines

17 August 2017: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman offers to host Qatari pilgrims at his expense


Saeed Ohadi told the ISNA news agency that Iran will use France to mediate with Saudi Arabia and compensate the families of Iranian victims who were killed during the Mina stampede last year.

17 August 2017: GCC cancel Gulf volleyball championship as they were to be hosted by Qatar

 17 August 2017: Qatar welcomes Saudi decision to open borders to pilgrims

 16 August 2017: Saudi Arabia to open Salwa border point to Qatari pilgrims for Hajj

16 August 2017: Saudi state TV sparks outrage after producing a video saying it can ‘shoot down Qatari passenger flights’

31 July 2017: Qatar filed a wide-ranging legal complaint at the World Trade Organisation to challenge a trade boycott by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates, Qatar’s WTO representative Ali Alwaleed Al-Thani told Reuters

31 July 2017: Qatar slams ‘false’ reports from Saudi that it is preventing its citizens from completing pilgrimage this year

31 July 2017: Qatar is trying to politicise the Hajj pilgrimage according to Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir

30 July 2017: The head of Iraq’s Shia Sadrist Movement, Moqtada Al-Sadr, visits Saudi Arabia for the first time in 11 years

22 July 2017: Saudi Arabia pays $138,000 for anti-Qatar adverts to be aired in the US in an attempt to alter public opinion

19 July 2017: Gulf boycott countries abandon their 13 demands in favour of six principles in order to end the crisis with Qatar

17 July 2017: Qatar felt ‘obliged’ to join the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, but its troops only patrolled the Saudi-Yemen borders and did not partake in any strikes in Yemen

10 July 2017: Saudi Arabia allows the Qatari officials who used to serve in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)’s Secretariat General to return to the Kingdom

9 July 2017: News reports reveal that Saudi Arabia tried to pressure Iraq to join the boycott of Qatar

4 July 2017: Kuwaiti sources reveal Qatar’s response to the list of demands saying Doha has agreed to reduce its relations with Iran ‘if all the Gulf countries commit to doing so’

2 July 2017: Saudi Arabia and its allies give Qatar a further 48 hours to respond to their demands

29 June 2017: A Saudi official denies a New York Times report that Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef has been confined to his palace and barred from travelling after he was replaced by the King’s son as next in line to the throne.

27 June 2017: Kuwait bans religious leaders which were included on a list of terrorists – as designated by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt – from entering its territory

26 June 2017: Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee said he would block arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other members of the GCC pending progress in resolving a simmering dispute with Qatar

25 June 2017: Turkey says demands by Saudi Arabia and three other nations are ‘an attack to Qatar’s sovereignty right’

King of Saudi Arabia Salman Bin Abdulaziz (L) is welcomed by Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (R) at Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar on December 5, 2016. [Bandar Algaloud/Saudi Kingdom/Handout]

King of Saudi Arabia Salman Bin Abdulaziz (L) is welcomed by Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (R) at Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar on December 5, 2016. [Bandar Algaloud/Saudi Kingdom/Handout]

24 June 2017: Qatar says demands made by Saudi and the UAE to end the Gulf rift are not realistic and are ‘unacceptable’

22 June 2017: A list of 13 demands are handed to Qatar in order for the boycott to end and negotiations to begin. They include shutting down Al Jazeera and a number of other news sites, and handing over members of the Muslim Brotherhood

21 June 2017: Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is promoted to crown prince, replacing his cousin in a sudden announcement that confirms King Salman’s 31-year-old son as next ruler of the Kingdom

20 June 2017: US says it is ‘mystified’ by the actions of Saudi Arabia and the UAE against Qatar as no demands have yet been made

19 June 2017: The state-run Qatar News Agency (QNA) assigned the London-based law firm Carter-Ruck to file an official complaint with Ofcom, UK’s broadcasting and communications regulator, against the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya news channel and Sky News Arabia for ‘violating impartiality code and accuracy in news’ sourcing’

16 June 2017: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain affirm that their recent moves to diplomatically isolate Qatar are within their rights to protect their ‘national security’

12 June 2017: Somali President, Mohammed Abdullah Farmajo, refuses $80 million offered to him by Saudi Arabia to partake in the boycott of Qatar

9 June 2017: Saudi Arabia threatens hotels and tourism centres with $27,000 fines if they air Al Jazeera

9 June 2017: The Saudi-backed Muslim World League announces the suspension of Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi’s membership in its Islamic Fiqh Academy

9 June 2017: Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt release a list of people and organisations with alleged links to Qatar which they designate as ‘terrorists’, including Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousef Al-Qaradawi

7 June 2017: The Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas both reject claims by Saudi Arabia that they are ‘terrorist organisations’

7 June 2017: Qatar begins using Somali airspace after Saudi Arabia and other neighbouring countries ban its national carrier, Qatar Airways

7 June 2017: The Wall Street Journal has reported that the Trump International Hotel in Washington DC received nearly $270,000 as part of the Saudi government’s payments to lobby groups which work to further Riyadh’s interests in the United States

6 June 2017: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Adel Al-Jubeir, says Qatar must end its support for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood to restore ties with other Arab states

5 June 2017: For the first time in history, a Saudi journalist is interviewed on Israeli TV and says: ‘There is no place for Hamas in the Middle East’

5 June 2017: Saudi Arabia shuts Qatar-based Al Jazeera channel’s office in the Kingdom

5 June 2017:  The Yemeni government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi severs ties with Qatar. The Saudi-led coalition has been fighting to restore his power over the country since 2015.

5 June 2017: Qatar says it is the victim of “incitement… based on lies”

5 June 2017: Saudi expels Qatar from its coalition leading the war on Yemen

5 June 2017: Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt announce they will sever ties with Qatar. Qatari diplomats are given 48 hours to return to their country while Qatari nationals and visitors are told to pack up and leave within two weeks

Image of the UAE Ambassador to the US, Yousef Al-Otaiba [File photo]

UAE Ambassador to the US, Yousef Al-Otaiba [File photo]

3 June 2017: UAE ambassador to the US Yousef Al-Otaiba’s email account is hacked revealing links between Al-Otaiba and a pro-Israel think-tank in Washington. The official is found to be urging the US to move its military base out of Qatar which he says sponsors ‘terrorism’

25 May 2017: Ministers from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agree to extend the existing production cuts to nine months, from the six months which had previously been approved

24 May 2017: Saudi, Egypt and UAE block sites belonging to Qatar including Al Jazeera

24 May 2017Qatari News Agency hacked and remarks attributed to Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani published which criticise US foreign policy

22 May 2017: US President Donald Trump takes the first official direct flight from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to Tel Aviv, Israel

20 May 2017: The US and Saudi Arabia reach a $110 billion-plus arms deal, the White House announces

5 December 2016: Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud arrives in Doha in an attempt to strengthen ties between the two countries

1 December 2016: The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to curb production for the first time since 2008 the bulk of the cut will be shouldered by Saudi Arabia, while Iran has been allowed to increase its output to levels before it was hit by Western sanctions

2 January 2016: Saudi Arabia announces the execution of 47 people, including prominent Shia cleric Nimr Baqir Al-Nimr, over terrorism charges

March 2015: Qatar joins military intervention launched by Saudi Arabia in Yemen to reinstate President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and push back military advancements from the Iranian-backed Houthi group

September 2015: Qatar deploys 1,000 ground troops to fight in Yemen, including 200 armoured vehicles, and 30 Apache helicopters to Maarib province

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