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18 July 2019 04:00 pm

Jordan has new envoy to Qatar, two years after it severed ties -- GCC Crisis Updates Week 111

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Here’s what’s happened since last week’s updates: Qatar happy with dispute settlement progress against Saudi Arabia in beoutQ case -- GCC Crisis Updates Week 110

16 July, 2019

Jordan has new envoy to Qatar, two years after it severed ties

GCC Crisis Updates

Jordan has appointed a new ambassador to Qatar - Zeid Al Louzi, a senior Jordanian career diplomat and secretary general of the Foreign Ministry - and this is being seen as a step forward towards restoring normal relations two years after the country withdrew its ambassador in solidarity with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain who imposed a blockade on Qatar in June 2017, accusing it of supporting terrorism amongst other allegations, as reported by Al Jazeera.

Amman has also accepted Qatar’s nomination - Sheikh Saud bin Nasser bin Jasem al Thani, a member of Doha’s royal family- as ambassador to Jordan.

The step towards normal ties with Qatar follows gestures from Doha, especially thos that involved Qatar’s deputy premier and Minister of State for Defense Affairs Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah, visiting Amman in April 2019 and signing military cooperation accords.

In 2018, Qatar also extended a $500 million aid package to Jordan just days after its once-GCC allies pledged $2.5 billion to help Jordan get out of an economic crisis tha was a result of anti-government protests.

16 July, 2019

UK urges Saudis to deal with theft of sports rights

GCC Crisis Updates

UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has pressed Saudi officials to crack down on sports rights thefts. Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright and a UK treasury spokesperson have also urged the country’s government to do more to stop this theft through beoutQ, according to Bloomberg.

The Saudi government denies all links to beoutQ - a satellite TV broadcaster and streaming service, that has been accused of illegally broadcasting top sporting events and selling it to viewers across the Middle East, and says it has no links to it.

During a trip to the Saudi Arabia earlier this July, Hammond and his entourage repeatedly talked about illegal broadcasts of UK’s sporting events like the Wimbledon tennis tournament and Premier League football championship, in confidential meetings, according to a source.

Qatar's beIN Media has rights to many of the top sporting events that beoutQ shows illegally and believes this is a deliberate attempt to sabotage its business. It has threatened to withdraw from broadcasting some top sporting events unless more is done to stop it, and lodged a complaint in October 2018 in an international investment arbitration case seeking $1 billion in damages.

14 July, 2019

Wimbledon calls for UK government support to combat illegal exploitation of Wimbledon rights by Saudi Arabia pirate operation beoutQ

GCC Crisis Updates

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (Championships) Limited (AELTC) condemns the widespread availability of The Championships through the illegal Saudi Arabia piracy operation beoutQ for the second consecutive year. The exclusive rights of the AELTC’s broadcast partners – including but not limited to beIN SPORTS, BBC, Canal+, ESPN – have been accessible worldwide through beoutQ’s bespoke IPTV apps, which is not only wholly unlawful, but undermines the commercial value of Wimbledon’s intellectual property all around the world. The AELTC will be making the strongest representations to the UK Government to put pressure on the Saudi Arabia authorities to immediately close down the beoutQ pirate operation following its ongoing illegal exploitation of world sport, according to a press release.

With the support of Saudi authorities, beoutQ systematically pirates content owned by or licensed to a Qatari-headquartered company beIN Media Group LLP and broadcasts it in Saudi Arabia and beyond, via Saudi-based Arabsats satellites

What are your thoughts on these latest developments in the ongoing GCC Crisis? Drop us a line and tell us your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to like and share this article.

Cover image credit: Middle East Monitor