MIDDLE EAST

Can Qatar stay in the GCC?

Those in control of the Qatari media succeeded in isolating the Qatari people from their Gulf surrounding and left them talking to themselves. Qatari media outlets had not found any echo outside their Qatari environment. Al-Jazeera itself horribly failed at marketing the Qatari stance outside Doha. Qatar is not in harmony with its Gulf surrounding, and the upcoming Gulf Summit is an appropriate opportunity for the Gulf media to confirm to everyone and to the Qatari people that Gulf countries hold on to them and to the Gulf Cooperation Council. However, most likely Kuwait will apologize and not host the summit.

Whether the summit is postponed until next year or Saudi Arabia hosts it, we must confirm to everyone that the GCC stands and we’re the most concerned about it. We must assert that our rejection of the Qatari regime’s presence is to confirm that the principles which the six countries agree on are the principles which must be adhered to as if they’re lost, the council is lost and if a member country violates them, it must be deterred so the council remains coherent.

It’s a chance for the Gulf media to remind of the principles on which the GCC was established in the 1970’s. These principles were based on the beliefs of the six countries’ leaders and people, and they confirm that what threatens us is one and that our fate is one. The 13 demands currently asked of Qatar aim to root out terrorism. Qatar became a state member threatening the council’s countries after it tampered with their security and stability and supported unrest in them.

The Gulf summit’s timing is a chance to address the Qatari people who have been recently talking to themselves and who have been dragged away from the source of the problem by their media outlets.

Sawsan Al Shaer

We reject holding the summit with Qatar’s presence because the Qatari regime is a source of threat to the GCC. The 13 demands aim to find a Qatar that’s harmonious with us. It’s the Gulf Qatar that established this council with us that we want.

The Gulf summit’s timing is a chance to confirm this council’s status for Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE. It’s a chance for these countries to voice their adherence to the Qatari people and to the state of Qatar which signed the first agreements with us and to show that the cooperation between Gulf countries in the 1970’s would have led to a union one day when everyone is ready.

It’s a chance to convey that the efforts over the past forty years – though incomplete – were paving way towards a union and that the path must have been adhered to. It’s a chance to address all Gulf people, including the Qataris, and tell them that we are one people and that the 13 demands do not harm the Qataris and are rather guarantees to protect them, and us, from groups that do not wish us well.

It’s a chance to address the Qatari people who have been recently talking to themselves and who have been dragged away from the source of the problem by their media outlets.

The Gulf summit is a suitable occasion to bring up the six principles which the four boycotting countries based their 13 demands on. These demands are:

1. Decrease diplomatic ties with Iran and expel any Revolutionary Guards members in Qatar

2. Not have any commercial activity with Iran that contradicts with American sanctions imposed on it

3. Close the Turkish military base and cancel military cooperation with Turkey

4. Shut down Al-Jazeera channel that’s accused of stirring unrest in the region and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood

5. Close all media outlets which Qatar directly or indirectly supports

6. Stop interfering in the anti-terror quartet’s domestic and foreign affairs and stop granting nationalities to citizens affiliated with the quartet and expel those who have been naturalized

7. Hand over terrorist figures to their countries of origin

8. Stop supporting and funding organizations that the quartet and the US blacklist as terror groups

9. Cut ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and ISIS and list them as terror groups and submit detailed files about opposition figures who are citizens of the four countries and who are present in Qatar and whom the latter supported

10. Commit to be harmonious with its Gulf and Arab surrounding and activate the 2013 Riyadh agreement and the 2014 Supplementary Agreement

11. Compensate these countries for any harm done or for financial losses that were a result of Doha’s policies in the past years

12. Implement these demands within 10 days

13. Submit monthly compliance audits once every month for the first year and once every three months for the second year and once every year for 10 years

In brief, Qatar cannot continue to be in the GCC without complying with the tenth demand.

This article is also available in Arabic.
___________________
Sawsan Al Shaer is a Bahraini writer and journalist. She tweets under the handle @sawsanalshaer.

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Last Update: Monday, 23 October 2017 KSA 14:23 - GMT 11:23
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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