The Arab quartet has clearly tried to curtail Qatar’s sovereignty in the name of security. The crisis began in June when the four Arab states severed ties with Qatar after accusing it of supporting terrorism, which was denied by the gas rich nation.
The Saudi-led blockade issued a list of 13 demands to Qatar in order to resolve the crisis. However, Qatar rejected the demands and called it illogical and said that the demands were made to be rejected.
Soon the group reduced 13 demands to six principles which was also rejected by Qatar. However, Qatar is not ready to compromise on its stand as most of the demands and principles were a threat to its sovereignty.
Qatar signed a MoU with US to fight against terrorism, but the move was not enough to convince the blockading countries.
Meanwhile, Qatar has only got stronger and people have backed the Emir and appreciated his stand during the crisis.
The quartet’s approach to the entire crisis – its escalation into an air, land, and sea blockade, as well as legal restrictions on expressing support for Qatar in Bahrain and the UAE – differs greatly from the quiet diplomacy used to heal the GCC rift in 2014, despite the fact that they are about essentially the same issues.
During that rift, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE called their ambassadors back for a period of six months over similar concerns about Qatar’s support for Islamist groups abroad and interference in internal affairs of other states.
However, after Qatar decided to remove seven members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and removed Egyptian Brotherhood ideologue Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s platforms on Qatar TV and Al Jazeera Arabic, the issue appeared resolved, and indeed GCC relations improved considerably over the course of 2015.
But, in the current crisis the role media on either side has escalated the issue to a different level. Countries in the region are falling under a trap as they are being portrayed to support either one of the parties.
Qatar has always maintained that it is committed to resolve the crisis through dialogue and in a diplomatic manner. But, nothing has made the disputing parties to come face to face so far, the mediation efforts of Kuwait and US has stalled and looks like the countries are getting set for a lengthy estrangement or a formal separation between the three GCC states of the quartet and Qatar.
Even if a diplomatic compromise can be reached, considerable damage has been done already – not solely of the economic or diplomatic type, but also simply in terms of the psychological impact between leaders and destruction of the trust between them.
The latest claims of Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir who said that Qatar’s call to internationalise Hajj tour operators as “aggressive and a declaration of war against the kingdom”, has only worsen the dispute.
Finally, leaders from the both the sides must come to an agreement for the betterment of the region and also people, who are the actual victims, many people are struggling from a forced split from their family. Therefore it is very important to find the solution as soon as possible before it gets too far.