The Gulf Cooperation Council annual summit is near. This year’s summit is set to be held in Kuwait. Will the summit be held? If so, will Qatar be invited? What’s the stance of Kuwait, the summit host country? I am afraid the last question’s answer is foggy as Kuwait’s stance is not clear enough even though it’s acting as a mediator.
This raises a legitimate question: Has Kuwait sided with Qatar and is it still humoring it? It actually seems that Kuwait is not rushing its mediation efforts to resolve the Qatari crisis.
We have not seen any activity worth mentioning regarding Qatar ever since Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad visited the US around two months ago.
Kuwait’s emir is in charge of mediating this crisis that’s an unprecedented in the council’s history. He must not remain neutral after efforts were exhausted with Hamad bin Khalifa and Hamad bin Jassim and after they betrayed his mediation efforts several times since the 2013 Riyadh agreement. He is well aware of Qatar’s harmful and destructive practices and knows that Qatar sought to divide Saudi Arabia and tried to mobilize several international organizations against it and that it’s still working to destabilize the UAE’s and Bahrain’s security. He knows that Doha continues to play with fire and harm other countries’ security to achieve the goals of the “Brotherhood” visions and its dream of “domination.”
Kuwait’s lack of clarity towards these issues brings about difficulties and complications. Keeping silent about these matters will surprise the Gulf with what can be called the “fait accompli” policy.
Kuwait’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah recently said that Kuwait did not yet contact any of the GCC members to discuss the summit which is scheduled for December.
The decision pertaining to Qatar’s participation or absence in the next summit is definitely the leaders’ decision and it will be based on the voting of the majority. Three countries which are Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain will reject its participation while Qatar and Oman will vote in favor of participating. Meanwhile Kuwait is trying to be in the middle and in support of Qatar’s participation.
Sitting in one room
If the Qatari crisis continues, the summit will not be held except according to major agreements as Gulf leaders will not sit in one room with Qatar’s emir and representatives of the Hamad bin Khalifa’s and Hamad bin Jassim’s regime who are stabbing GCC member states on a daily basis via conspiracies and treachery which are a flagrant violation of article 4 of the GCC’s charter. The fourth article is actually about coordination and integration among member states. Qatar, however, is doing the complete opposite as it’s coordinating with Iran and Turkey against GCC countries and it embraces terrorist groups that undermine the latter’s security and stability.
This malicious Qatari behavior is divisive to the point where sitting with Tamim and representatives of the Hamad’s regime is something which the boycotting countries cannot accept.
What’s unfortunate is that Kuwait does not have clear public stances towards these practices. And now the Qatari opposition and some members of the Qatari ruling family have demanded that Qatar have the right to attend the GCC summit in Kuwait. This requires a response from the host country.
Qatar’s procrastination will prohibit Gulf people from attending the Gulf championship amid the boycotting countries’ stance, the absence of a possible solution to the Qatari crisis and Kuwait’s silence over Doha’s practices even though it’s aware of is black history over the past two decades.
With all respect to Kuwait’s role, diplomacy and policy but it’s time to review its stance towards Qatar’s behavior and regarding the usefulness of its mediation especially that Doha has betrayed its brothers and it can no longer be trusted except by its “honorable” ally.
This article was first published in Okaz.
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.