Only an hour after Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed announced in Washington Qatar’s approval of the 13 demands to end its crisis with the four countries, Doha’s foreign minister was quick to “strongly” deny the claim. He even went so far as to say that the conditions “are part of the past.”
After it seemed that Sheikh Sabah brought some form of optimism that a breakthrough was imminent and that Doha as complying a bit with his three-month mediation, the Qatari authorities returned the crisis to square one. On top of that, it also fatally stabbed the Kuwaiti mediation, dealing a blow to the efforts of Sheikh Sabah.
Some may have been surprised by the shocking Qatari reaction to Sheikh Sabah’s mediation, but Doha’s manipulative stance had in reality never changed since the crisis began on June 5. Alarm bells should probably be ringing for those who believed that the Qatari authorities were serious in ending the crisis through the Kuwaiti mediation.
Doha did not leave any chance for the success of the diplomatic movement led by the Kuwaiti Emir and it denied his media statements even before he left the White House. It did not even wait to personally clarify its stance to Sheikh Sabah.
Doha did not leave any chance for the success of the diplomatic movement led by the Kuwaiti Emir and it denied his media statements even before he left the White HouseSalman al-Dosary
Given the above, the four countries should have explained their stance before Qatar’s unyielding position, which even though it was not new, acts as another condemnation of its lack of credibility in finding a solution to the crisis.
It was significant that the four countries stated that “several other countries in the world have not been able to announce a stance because of Qatar’s infiltration of their internal affairs and their consequent fears of repercussions, especially in wake of Qatar’s record in backing coups and funding and hosting of terrorism and extremism.”
This is a very important political message that the four countries are aware of what is happening behind the scenes. So why don’t some regional countries declare their real stance from Qatar? The four states’ position also justifies their fear of Qatar’s meddling in the internal affairs of regional countries, which has indeed proven how dangerous it is to them.
In my estimation, the most important thing that can be taken from the press conference between the Emir of Kuwait and American president is the latter’s assertion that the only way to resolve the crisis lies in “the need to stop the support and funding of terrorism.” This, from the White House’s perspective, should be the foundation of the upcoming phase and the basis for ending the crisis.
The American declaration is enough to know that there is no need to end the crisis on the surface, with or without a mediation, without Qatar ceasing its support and financing of terror.
The fires that Doha lit in the region are still burning and the firetruck, which should be filled with water, cannot instead be filled with statements that call for tolerance and that overlook disputes. These are the exact statements that allowed Qatar to spark these fires for the past 20 years.
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God help the Emir of Kuwait for putting up with the ongoing Qatari contradictions as Doha’s open stance differs from its stand before western capitals. It then makes a third position to Sheikh Sabah before going against it to take a fourth and new stance.
Furthermore, its declaration that the 13 conditions “are part of the past” has undoubtedly shocked Kuwait. The statement was made without Sheikh Sabah being aware of it, meaning that Qatar has openly stabbed the Kuwaiti mediation.
This article was first published in Asharq Al-Awsat.
Salman Aldosary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. He tweets @SalmanAldosary.