Saudi Arabia is planning to escalate its isolation of regional rival Qatar by using nuclear waste and a 650-foot wide canal to turn its neighbor into an island.
According to reports in the state-linked al-Riyadh and Sabq newspapers, the project—which would establish a military zone, nuclear waste dump and canal—would separate the two countries along the entire length of the 37.5-mile border.
The two nations have been locked in a crisis since the imposition of a Saudi-led diplomatic blockade on Qatar in June 2017. Saudi Arabia and its allies—including Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt—accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism in the Middle East, a charge Doha denies.
Apparently, Riyadh is not content with traditional isolation. The so-called “Salwa Marine Canal Project” would establish a military base in one area of the border and a nuclear waste site in another. The waste would come from the nuclear reactors that Saudi Arabia is planning to build. The border would then be clearly demarcated by a wide canal. The UAE would also build a nuclear waste site at its border’s closest point to Qatar.