MIDDLE EAST

The failed mediation is a message to Doha

There is no doubt that the Qatari crisis is far from resolving as some think or hope that it would only be a summer cloud. The failure of all the visits of foreign ministers and the mediation of heads of state from all over the world proves that the four countries are still standing by their demands.

As for why do we expect it to go on, well because it is an old and cumulative problem. Qatar has been the source of concern for a long time, almost 20 years.

Despite the old differences, the statement issued by the four countries at the beginning of June represents a new development. The confrontation and the most serious one in nature severed diplomatic ties and consular relations, and prohibited traffic and transit. Since that day, and so far, the confrontation has been escalating, and the speech of the Emir of Qatar broadcast days ago is one of escalation and not bridging. Therefore, the crisis is expected to last for months.

Qatar has two true images, one a negative representation like any other hostile Arab state and a false media image that depicts it as modern, tolerant and youthful country with a moderate policy. It is a country of liberties, independent of pressures and foreign dependency. Few people knew that the image of Qatar was forged, or at least exaggerated.

Abdulrahman al-Rashed


Who are the ones who have lost and the ones who have earned so far in the last round? In my opinion, countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia are used to attacks and hostile media campaigns. They can even coexist with it. Qatar, on the other hand, is a country that is used to a luxurious comfortable lifestyle. It has only been attacked by extremist organizations such as al-Qaeda in the 1990s.

It does not have a large population density, or a cultural and religious diversity that threatens its stability, like Bahrain.

Qatar sleeps comfortably on a cushion under the protection of two American bases.

Qatar has two true images, one a negative representation like any other hostile Arab state and a false media image that depicts it as modern, tolerant and youthful country with a moderate policy. It is a country of liberties, independent of pressures and foreign dependency. Few people knew that the image of Qatar was forged, or at least exaggerated. 

Futile effort

In the current crisis, the conflict has fallen to its lowest levels, and the main victim is Doha, because the other party is used to coexistence with distortion and media. For the first time, Qatar’s name is attached to terrorism and extremist ideology. No matter how much the government tries to hire more public relations companies in Washington to repair its image, it will not be able to do so, because the damage has occurred, and because the other party still has the ammunition to deliver its message.

As for the Qatari’s information efforts, they are practically almost consumed, repeated messages that governments are used to hearing.

In the Arab region, the tactic of the Qatari propaganda machine was based on old methods such as exploiting the Palestinian cause, but they did not succeed. They tried to convince the citizens of these countries that their governments are biased and false but they found little sympathy since the four governments disrupted the groups hired by Qatar, such as commentators, advocates and academics. Consequently, the control of the four countries has undermined the Qatari government’s investment in these people who were silenced. The issue is not so much freedom of expression as much as standing against lobbies and public relations that are illegally leased by a foreign government. In fact, most regimes in the world prohibit receiving money from foreign governments for sponsoring political activities.   

Political pressure   

The dispute with Qatar will eventually come to an end, and we cannot say when or how, maybe it will be next year.

Qatar is under the political pressure in the region and will reach a dead end because it is no longer possible for these countries to be patient. Most countries in the region also share the agonies of the four countries. Most countries in the region consider that the Doha government is targeting stability. Therefore, responding by targeting Qatar is legitimate and necessary. Is Doha able to bear the risks and consequences of its policies?

The continuation of the crisis and the rejection of mediation and pressure are all indicators that Qatar is playing a very dangerous game, and it has to decide to either completely abandon its policy or risk its very existence.

This article is also available in Arabic.

_______________________
Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of Asharq al-Awsat’s sister publication, al-Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded, thriving and influential position it is in today. He tweets @aalrashed.

SHOW MORE
Last Update: Wednesday, 26 July 2017 KSA 15:04 - GMT 12:04
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
Top
BREAKING NEWS

Send to a friend

Close
The failed mediation is a message to Doha
Friend's name:
Friend's Email:
Sender's name:
Sender's Email:
Captcha Code
How are we doing?
X

How are we doing?

Name Name *
Email Email *
Country Country
Message Message *
Maximum 550 words allowed