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ANALYSIS: Saudi, Egypt end media attempts by Qatar at forcing a reconciliation

Published: Updated:

On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi at the Al-Ittihadiya Presidential Palace in Cairo ended speculations that have lately been echoed by Qatari, American, and Turkish media outlets about what was called an expected reconciliation between Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar in the context of the repercussions resulting from the case of late Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Qatari media coverage of Khashoggi’s death was out of the norm, and it is – until this moment – still politicizing the case.

It is important to note that media outlets with close ties to Qatar – broadcasting from London and Istanbul instead of Doha – reported that sources allegedly told them of a supposed impending arrangement headed by the United States aimed at ending the war in Yemen and the boycott on Qatar by neighboring countries.

Out of context

Seemingly pushed by political pressure, the same media outlets took advantage of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s recent statements at the Future Investment Initiative forum in Doha regarding his outlook on the future of the Middle East and taking it out of a chiefly economic context, thus increasing the speed of rumors circulating around the supposed arrangements.

In the wake of the Khashoggi crisis, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at FII2018 had said that Qatar’s economy was strong and that he expected it to strengthen economically in the next five years, but that he stressed that his remarks where despite the fact of the ongoing dispute with Doha.

At the time, commentators asserted that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s statement had been placed in a narrow context by Qatar, since it mainly expressed a view about the region’s economic future, regardless of whether the country was to continue its boycott of Qatar or reconcile with their neighbor.

However, the final statement issued by the Saudi Crown Prince during his visit to Cairo - the third leg of an Arab and foreign tour - stressed that both Riyadh and Cairo renewed the terms for reconciliation with Qatar, without making any concessions.

The new confirmation of the list of 13 conditions for Qatar comes at a time when the crown prince has undertaken an Arab and international tour.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain have already expressed their commitment to stick by the conditions that would lead to the re-establishment of relations, especially the demand that Qatar severs its links to terrorism, the Iranian file and the political incitement in its Gulf neighbors.

Amid hope to resolve the situation, sources have said that nothing has yet changed in Doha’s behavior as Qatar has increased its rapprochement with Iran as well as continuing to discredit Saudi leadership via its media outlets.