Saudi Arabia Wants to Build a Canal That Would Turn Qatar into an Island

Published September 2nd, 2018 - 02:04 GMT
In June 2017, Saudi Arabia had led an alliance with UAE, Bahrain and Egypt to cut all diplomatic ties with Qatar due to diplomatic disputes. (Image From Shutterstock)
In June 2017, Saudi Arabia had led an alliance with UAE, Bahrain and Egypt to cut all diplomatic ties with Qatar due to diplomatic disputes. (Image From Shutterstock)

A tweet by a prominent Saudi official on Friday implying the Saudi government plans to dig a canal with Qatar has been going viral for the past few days among Saudis and Qataris. The Saudi plan is to turn neighbouring Qatar into an island amid rising diplomatic tensions.

Saud Al-Qahtani, an adviser to the Royal Court tweeted on Friday in Arabic pointing to plans on the “Salwa island project."

Translation: As a citizen, I am waiting for details on the implementation of the Salwa island project impatiently. A great, historic project that will change the geography of the region. Changing the geography is something no one can help but leaders of such great and pure country. May God bless the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and His Highness the Crown prince.”

The plan was revealed by a Saudi news website called Makkah earlier in April 2018. According to the report, five international companies have been invited in the Kingdom to bid for the canal project called the “Salwa Channel” that would separate the Qatari peninsula from the Saudi mainland to build

Another report by Saudi Sabaq website suggested that the canal will be built at least 0.6 miles from the border with Qatar, the entire project would be under Saudi sovereignty and its cost was estimated at 2.8 billion Saudi riyals.

On social media, hashtag: “قناة_جزيرة_شرق_سلوى” that translates to: “The Canal of Eastern Salwa Island” was trending on Twitter a day after the Qahtani’s tweet.  The news raised controversy between Saudis and Qataris who went to debate whether the project will harm Qatar or benefit Saudi Arabia.

Some called it Saudi Arabia divorce of Qatar.

Later, unconfirmed reports emerged of Saudi plans to use the canal as a nuclear waste facility.

Saudi Arabia's foreign policy since the beginning of the crisis with Qatar has raised concerns in the region and internationally. It has all started when Mohammed Bin Salman was appointed the Crown Prince in April 2017.


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