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It’s a Qatari – Not a Gulf – Crisis

It’s a Qatari – Not a Gulf – Crisis

Thursday, 20 December, 2018 - 11:00
Salman Al-dossary
Salman Aldosary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper
Nearly 18 months after the Quarter’s boycott of Qatar, the crisis seems to be marginal and unnoticed. It may be cited in a weekly news sub-line, or at a trivial press conference as a response to a question by a reporter from Qatar, or even a desperate attempt by Doha’s allies in Ankara and Tehran to revive the issue. Besides that, no one is mentioning the crisis, except for the Qatari regime, which considers it an existential crisis and has the right to do so.

The entire Qatari state, its government, its emir and its institutions, and obviously its Riyal, have maintained their desperate attempt to prevent the crisis from falling into oblivion. For the past one-and-a-half-year, they were only busy with touring the globe in search for help. But day after day, the theory that the entire world has approved is confirmed: the crisis is Qatari par excellence - and not a Gulf one, as promoted by Doha. Hence, the concerned country should work to solve it, no one else.

Perhaps all those who expected the crisis to be only instant, temporary or of a short-term, mainly those in Doha, have reconsidered there opinion and understood that the problem was more complex and needed more than mere forgiveness. This rule is no longer politically valid in the current phase. If the strategy, upon which Hamad bin Khalifa’s regime is based, did not change, the crisis will continue for many long years that have just started.

It is true that pressures have led to a slight change and national concessions in dealing with terrorist groups, as the Western intelligence has been closely monitoring the movements of the Qatari regime, but the journey is still long for Doha to meet all the obligations imposed on it. Therefore, any solutions to the Qatar crisis are not in the horizon; so the Qatari battle is now confined to the idea that the crisis is not Qatari but concerns the Gulf, in order to prove that there are those who share the suffering and that it is not alone in its predicament.

As Qatar continues to live under its existential crisis, while the world forgets it and coexists with its status after the boycott, the strategy upon which Doha depends is limited to searching for any domestic issues in the four countries to amplify them, exploit them in the media, and sponsor pressure groups to provoke them. It does so strongly and unyieldingly, to give the impression to the Qatari public opinion that there are huge issues in those countries, and not only Qataris are suffering from the boycott crisis.

Doha, therefore, believes that stirring up its neighbors’ crises through media will suggest that there are other crises similar to its own. Qatar overlooks the fact that all the countries of the world pass through difficulties but finally succeed in overcoming them. But the Qatari crisis has seen no shimmer of progress, and will last… Indeed, as Bahrain’s foreign minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, said: “It is not our crisis, it is the crisis of Qatar. There is no need for a mediator to solve it, but the need for rational people in Qatar.”

For the four boycotting countries, the Qatari crisis belongs to the past. All of them have coexisted with it. They even forgot that there was a boycotted country. They kept walking and did not turn back. But what about Qatar? It pretends to be witnessing a better situation after the boycott; but at the same time, it dispatches its ministers, begs for mediators and rejoices in its participation in the Gulf Summit, just to say: I am here. This is Qatar, as we have always known it, living in its own contradictions.

The world has forgotten its crisis, while it remains isolated and unnoticed.

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