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Qatari opposition says crisis expected to stretch into 2018

Published: Updated:

The Gulf diplomatic crisis, involving an embargo of Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt (the GC3+1), is expected to stretch into 2018, bringing food and commodity shortages and expected civil unrest in Qatar.

This is the conclusion of an exclusive research paper, published by the organizers of the ‘Qatar: Global Security & Stability’ conference taking place in London on September 14.

The paper argues that there is no sign that the crisis, now entering its fourth month, is likely to end soon.

The GC3+1 countries have made 13 demands of Qatar, including the end of financial support to radical Islamist groups, stopping the harboring of fugitives designated as terrorists by the US and ensuring that Qatar complies with the Riyadh agreements of 2013-4.

The blockade by the GC3+1 is having significant economic implications within Qatar, the paper observes, bringing food and commodity shortages, greater social unrest and increased suppression by Qatari security forces. Media reports and social media posts from the region support these sentiments.

The report says that the presence of Turkish soldiers on Qatari soil is believed to help mitigate any potential rebellion, though Turkey is coming under international pressure to withdraw its troops.

“This independent paper shows how much the people of Qatar are suffering due,” said Khalid Al-Hail, Official Spokesperson of the Qatari Opposition.

‘The Qatar, Global Security & Stability’ Conference will bring together hundreds of world-renowned political figures, policy makers, academics, commentators and Qataris to discuss democracy, human rights, press freedom and counter-terrorism in Qatar. It is being organized by the Qatari reformist personality, Al-Hail, along with a number of reformist Qataris, who are seeking a resolution to the regional crisis and a more stable future for Qatar, according to a press release issued by the organizers.