MIDDLE EAST

Qatar takes one step forward, two steps back

The Gulf will never allow Qatar to be ripped from it, regardless of its behavior and how astray it goes. The Gulf will always embrace Qatar.

The shortest way to get somewhere is through a direct route. My advice is to seize the opportunity and not further complicate the matter for itself.

Qatar has recently acknowledged that it shelters 20 terrorists and 8 terrorist entities on its territories. Then it said that this list is nothing new but publishing it is! When did Qatar ever say that ISIS-Sinai Province (ISIS-SP) is a terrorist group? This is the first time that Doha describes the groups which are practicing terrorism in Egypt, and in Sinai in particular, as terrorists. The list is thus new but Doha continues to play arrogant.

Then through a tweet by Hamad bin Jassim, he hinted that the acceptance of the solution might be in Riyadh and we don’t know how he would later retract from his statement. Will he also claim that his account was hacked?

Why take this long route? Haven’t the Qatari regime learned audacity, frankness and direct talk? Hasn’t it realized that our problem with is originally due to it endless elusive tactics? If Doha has kept its word and committed to it, there wouldn’t have been any problems.

Why does it think that being devious can succeed? Why is Doha overcomplicating this for itself and its people? Hasn’t Qatar realized that it no longer poses a problem for the Anti-Terror Quartet after it decided to boycott it to “shut the door from which the wind blew”?

Now, after the dismissal of Rex Tillerson as secretary of state and the appointment of John Bolton as national security advisor, Qatar will not be included in any agenda or discussed in any meeting between US officials and any officials from the quartet.

Qatar widened the gap with the quartet after Azmi Bishara tempted it to resume its policies. Bishara managed the crisis for Qatar while taking his own agenda – which Doha has not yet realized – into account.

Sawsan Al Shaer

The Qatari regime’s trial balloons to observe reactions to the possibility of "a partial solution" are a waste of time. They actually show that the regime hasn’t learnt anything and also prolong the crisis. There is no difference between this time and previous tricks, including their “pledge” to implement and this ended in 2014. Hamad bin Khalifa said it himself that it was over after King Abdullah died and gave himself the right to betray the pledges made. So how can we guarantee or respect any future pledges Qatar makes? After violating signed agreements, what sort of verbal reassurances can Doha offer us?

Qatar cannot resolve this crisis via partial solutions such as by buying cattle, buying Neymar and football clubs, or pasting posters on cabs in London or even buying votes in the congress and pursuing planes and threatening navigation. Qatar spent billions on these deceitful approaches and it was all in vain. The solution has, since day one, been to implement all the demands of the anti-terror quartet and then sit down in Riyadh.

Very simple, easy solution

Qatar widened the gap with the quartet after Azmi Bishara tempted it to resume its policies. Bishara managed the crisis for Qatar while taking his own agenda – which Doha has not yet realized – into account. He kept Doha away from us and separated it from its embrace. He drowned Qatar and complicated its process of swimming back to the surface.

The solution was actually very simple and easy, and it would have greatly benefitted Doha and rectified the deteriorating situation caused by those who had managed to convince Qatar that it will one day rule the Arab order. At the beginning, the quartet was still lenient while addressing its disputes with Doha but Bishara advised the latter to expand the circle of dispute and gave it hope that Donald Trump will be removed. He also misguided Qatar into thinking that its money can solve the crisis. Days went by, Qatar has wasted billions and it has now found itself back to square one!

One last advice to Qatar: Do not wait any longer to resolve the crisis because this will only widen the gap. Do not expect that there will be negotiations and verbal commitments. They’ve tried this before but it didn’t work. Wise men once said: The shortest distance between two points is a straight line

This article is originally published in Arabic.

_______________________
Sawsan Al Shaer is a Bahraini writer and journalist. She tweets @sawsanalshaer.

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Last Update: Tuesday, 27 March 2018 KSA 14:13 - GMT 11:13
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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