It has been three months since the Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar. There is no immediate settlement in sight, and the four countries will not back down on the conditions and demands they have set. After all, their patience has worn thin due to Qatar’s policies, which are against all international norms and conventions.
The situation has been complicated because of the malicious policies of Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, former Emir of Qatar, and Hamad Bin Jassim, former Prime Minister of Qatar, and because of Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad’s refusal to address the demands which he pledged to do, and his refusal to abide by the six principles announced by the states which call for combatting terrorism.
Qatar’s government has been seeking support in several world capitals and from global organizations but its efforts have proved futile. It has left no stone unturned searching for support and sympathy everywhere to the extent that it has even paid money for advertisements posted on London buses and taxicabs and broadcast on American TV channels. All this is meant to promote the idea of Qatar being oppressed and downtrodden and of being the victim. Again, this mendacious propaganda has proved to be futile, as the governments of other countries have not fallen for it.
The laughable thing is the Qatari government’s decision to resort to the Indian state of Kerala. The government hired some mercenaries there and paid them millions of rupees to improve its tarnished image. This clearly shows that Qatar has a bad reputation and a weak image, an image that has changed since 5 June 2017. Today, the international community views Qatar with suspicion.
The Qatari leadership should realize that going to Washington, London, Paris or even Kerala will not resolve its dispute with its neighboring sisterly countries nor will it end this boycott. It also will not cancel the demands calling upon it to change its negative behavior. Qatar should realize that the only solution lies in addressing the demands of the four countries.
It is high time that the Qatari leadership listens to the voice of reason and wisdom or else it will have to face more dire and severe consequences in the near future.Jameel Al-Thiyabi
The desired solution lies in the Riyadh agreement. Egypt and the three Gulf countries are not the only ones that have cut ties with Qatar because of its policies; there is also Kuwait. Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad has already refused Qatar’s malicious policies and warned against their repercussion on the solid Gulf Council.
The Emir of Kuwait, who plays the role of mediator in this unprecedented crisis, will not remain neutral on this forever. He knows very well that Qatar has worked for the fragmentation and division of the Kingdom as well as the militarization of some of its regions. Qatar continues to work to sow sedition and destabilize the security situation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
It continues to fuel revolutions and uprisings, gives bribes to corrupt persons and undermines the security of other countries in order to achieve the objectives of the Muslim Brotherhood’s vision in which the Qatari government believes. Let us not forget that Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad played the mediator’s role in the Riyadh agreement in 2013 and complementary addenda in 2014.
The Qatar government is now bogged down in a deep quagmire, even if it tries to pretend otherwise. It has complicated the crisis and internationalized it when it should have contained it with sisterly countries. It continued to maneuver and lie until the crisis got out of control. Neither Iran nor Turkey can help Qatar at this stage. No matter how smart Qatar pretends to be and no matter how many billions it pays, it will not succeed in this. It continues to lose and will suffer from more losses and this will cause the Qatari people to suffer as well from consequences from which they could have been spared.
Using Al Jazeera TV channel and other media channels, which it runs secretly, will not help Qatar in promoting misleading propaganda, the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah. Everyone can now see through these flagrant lies. The Qatari government has betrayed its sisterly Gulf countries but this betrayal will not undermine the strength and unity of the sisterly countries and will not achieve the Qatari government’s malicious desires.
It is high time that the Qatari leadership listens to the voice of reason and wisdom or else it will have to face more dire and severe consequences in the near future.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette.
Jameel al-Thiyabi is a Saudi journalist who has held different editorial positions at al-Hayat and Okaz newspapers. Al-Thiyabi holds a master’s degree in diplomacy and media from the UK. He has spent over 20 years in the media, working first with Asharq Al-Awsat in London and then with LBC TV.