Doha must wave the white flag

Abdulrahman al-Rashed
Abdulrahman al-Rashed
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Amid the angry countries’ recent boycott of Qatar, the latter is acting like a trapped cat who is searching for a way out to evade the situation. Instead of realistically dealing with the crisis and admitting that it represents a dangerous and serious problem on everyone in the region, it’s jumping in the air while resorting to its old tricks.

We say this to the Qatari cat: Quit attempting to jump from windows as there is only one door to exit the crisis. You must reach an understanding with your neighbors. Iran’s supreme guide will not save you, neither will Turkey’s soldiers or the American circles which suggest half solutions. The Germans’ statements and statements of other countries you have resorted to will also not save you.

The demands of the four countries which boycott Qatar are 13 but in fact they have one aim which is for Qatar’s regime to quit harming the region’s countries. The latter will restrain Qatar if it is stubborn as it seems they have made up their mind not to remain silent over its threats to their security and existence. They will thus restrain it until it gets a taste of its own medicine.

Why this insistence? Egypt has for more than two years now called on the Qatari regime to stop supporting the opposition, whether armed or civilian, as Egyptian affairs are only the Egyptian people’s business. Saudi Arabia and the UAE want just this from Qatar. They want it to stop funding extremist opposition in and outside their countries and to stop supporting armed groups against them in Yemen and other areas. Meanwhile, Bahrain suffered a lot as a result of the Qataris’ funding of the armed and civilian opposition.

Saudi Arabia cannot remain silent over Qatar’s funding of deceived Saudis who fight with ISIS and al-Nusra Front in Syria and Iraq. We are aware that Qatar’s real aim and project is for these Saudis to return later to Saudi Arabia and fight there

Abdulrahman al-Rashed

Lies exposed

Why do these countries insist on these 13 conditions? It is because they tried to reach an understanding with it but exposed its lies. In the 2013 Riyadh agreement, the Qatari regime signed a charter pledging not to be a party in any activity against its neighbor, Saudi Arabia.

After they protested that Qatar did not commit to what it vowed, Doha claimed that it did not commit to anything because it did not pledge to do anything. This denial came as a shock. Mediating countries then proposed a mechanism to check Qatar’s commitment but less than a year later they realized that Qatar left its fingerprints on every crisis they confronted.

They realized that Doha was preparing for what is much worse against them and that above all this harm, it was also lying. Qatar claimed it is committed to what was asked of it. It literally did by adopting a deceitful approach to abide by the Riyadh agreement. It stopped hosting extremist opposition figures in Doha but it transferred them to other countries such as Turkey, Britain and the US to work against their countries.

It settled them at its own expense and funded them. Some of these figures were granted the Qatari nationality as this helped Doha claim it was not funding Egyptian or Saudi extremists.

It also obligated Al Jazeera channel not to come near Saudi Arabia and it stopped inciting and broadcasting terrorists’ recordings through it. However, it launched several media networks to perform this role. These networks included television channels, which it funded in Turkey and Britain.

Escalated crisis

Qatar now thinks it can still cheat its way out via a different approach. However, the crisis has escalated. For Egypt, Qatar’s actions harm its security particularly when it funds armed terrorist groups in Libya.

These groups attack Egypt amid Al Jazeera’s celebrations and frank incitement against it. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has no longer kept silent over the Houthis who shell Saudi cities upon support from the Iranians and the Qataris.

Saudi Arabia cannot remain silent over Qatar’s funding of deceived Saudis who fight with ISIS and al-Nusra Front in Syria and Iraq. We are aware that Qatar’s real aim and project is for these Saudis to return later to Saudi Arabia and fight there. This is similar to what Qatar did when it incited Saudis who rebelled against their country and who had joined al-Qaeda in Afghanistan in the past two decades.

The battle is clear. Qatar targets regimes by weakening them or toppling them. It is inevitable for such actions to be responded to in the same way. Therefore, it is best for this misbehaved cat of ill repute to wave the white flag instead of being dragged behind its propaganda and believing it itself.

It is threatening and warning that the confrontation will be similar to what happened at the “Safwan tent” but we fear for Doha as it may be like the “Rabaa Square!”

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.

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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