Qatar’s Foreign Minister travelled traveled thousands of miles to the Norwegian capital Oslo this time to complain about Saudi Arabia and the boycotting countries in an attempt to find an ally for his country during its long-forgotten crisis.
However, one big issue posed by Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman is the Hajj pilgrimage of Qatari nationals.
Yes! The Qatar minister found no one other than this Scandinavian country to complain to about the Hajj, despite there being no issue to begin with.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz welcomed the Qatari pilgrims and offered to send private planes to fly them directly from Doha to Mecca, despite the ongoing severance of ties between the Anti-Terror quartet and Qatar.
The head of Qatar’s diplomacy reached an unprecedented level this time by saying that banning Qatari pilgrims from entering Saudi Arabia was politically motivated, and then went on to say that eventually allowing them would be politically motivated. This diplomatic statement sums up the state of Qatar’s political confusion.
Qatar’s political confusion
Qatar’s accusations are always on hand, whether its citizens went to Hajj or not. Either way, claims that Saudi Arabia is politicizing Hajj season will not stop.
If only the Qatari minister would explain to us, from Finland this time, how the King of Saudi Arabia’s hosting of his country’s pilgrims has political motivations, if banning them was also politically driven? The only answer to that question is that all of a sudden, Qatar’s diplomacy has new political powers involved.
Riyadh welcomed Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali bin Abdullah Al Thani is the second son of the late Emir Ali bin Abdullah Al Thani, the grandson of the Emir of Qatar, Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani, and the brother of Sheikh Ahmed bin Ali Al Thani, who was overthrown by his cousin Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, grandfather of Prince Tamim bin Hamad on February 22, 1972.
It also agreed to permit Qatari pilgrims to enter to the kingdom through Salwa border crossing and even authorized all Qatari nationals wanting to perform Hajj to enter without electronic permits.
Qatar’s Sheikh Abdullah didn’t bother himself by travelling to Moscow, Washington, or London. He didn’t go to Oslo either to politicize a pure religious ritual. He took the shortcut and visited the closest country to his: Saudi Arabia.Salman al-Dosary
Despite all those efforts, Qatar has found itself in trouble before its citizens and the world capitals where many officials lodged their complaints.
Qatar no longer has the excuse to ban its citizens from performing Hajj like it attempted before this week, and now its officials are confused and anxious.
In Jeddah, Bin Ali Al Thani met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and then travelled to Tangier, Morocco, to meet with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
King Salman received Sheikh Abdullah and stressed the Kingdom’s keenness and constant and continuous interest in the welfare of the pilgrims while harnessing all possibilities to carry out their affairs with ease and comfort.
Qatar taken by surprise
Sheikh Abdullah proceeded with his attempts to achieve what the Qatari diplomacy couldn’t do in 75 days. With Saudi Arabia welcoming those efforts and responding to this mediation, the resounding message reached Doha that this step has effects on political, popular and social levels.
Qatar has been taken by surprise by the grand involvement of a powerful political party in this crisis and this surely has the doors wide opened on future revelations within the Qatari house.
Doha received a new blow involving one of the prominent members of the ruling family who mediated and paved the way for a new political track looking to achieve his country’s best interest that has long been damaged by the current reckless leadership.
Sheikh Abdullah didn’t bother himself by travelling to Moscow, Washington, or London. He didn’t go to Oslo either to politicize a pure religious ritual. He took the shortcut and visited the closest country to his: Saudi Arabia.
The Shiekh succeeded in finding the solution.
Indeed, no matter how far the travels may reach, there is no escape from visiting Riyadh.
In his new book “World Order”, Henry Kissinger says: “Sooner or later, history punishes strategic frivolity. In every era, humanity produces abusers and evil ideas. Political wisdom lies in preventing their rise to positions of power and maintain a qualified international order capable of deterring them.”
The words of the “fox” of US policy can be exactly applied to Doha’s policy. After almost two and a half months of cut-off ties crisis, Qatar’s reactions prove the validity of positions taken against it. Whoever doubted those decisions, has now become convinced of this move because of Qatar’s reckless policy.
The sure thing is the success of Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani’s mediation had shaken the Qatari state and added more pressures. Doha doesn’t know where the winds will blow in the coming days.
The article was earlier published in Asharq Al-Awsat.
Salman Aldosary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. He tweets @SalmanAldosary.
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