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Qatar’s Isolation... The Best Is Yet to Come

Qatar’s Isolation... The Best Is Yet to Come

Wednesday, 7 August, 2019 - 08:00
Salman Al-Dossary
Salman Al-Dossary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.
In just about a month: the media revealed the famous conversation of a Qatari ambassador, in which he admitted his country’s support for terrorist acts in Somalia, and then documents were published proving Doha’s involvement in violating FIFA rules. Then, several cases followed, exposing Qatar’s corrupted money in French sports. And finally, a report by the London Times on Tuesday announced that Doha was financing extremism through a British bank.

Those issues combined put a heavyweight on any country in the world. What if it was a very small country, in size, population and status, where every month, a new scandal emerges: the support for terrorism, the attempt to buy everything with dirty money and the persistence of its political downfall by forbidding its citizens, for example, to perform the holy Hajj, for the third consecutive year.

This is happening while the state is isolated and boycotted by its neighbors. How would it be then if it was allowed to maintain its role as a deceitful state, as it has done for more than two decades?

When the four countries announced in June 2017 to boycott Qatar, some questioned the decision, others sympathized, and a third group was surprised. No one expected that the last solution would be burning the ties with a brotherly country. Intra-Gulf relations were not used to this type of complete boycott.

However, in the first months that followed the decision, all of them reviewed their positions, and admitted – even to themselves – that this decision was not only right, but belated.

Today, more than two years after the boycott, I don’t think that there are those who want the return of Qatar, even if it complied with a thousand conditions.

The danger of any rapprochement with it is much higher than boycotting it. Isolating it away from its neighbors locks doors of evil, which will reopen with any possible return.

After governments were insisting on rejecting any form of reconciliation, all wise citizens became more radical than their leaders. A system, such as the Qatari regime, could never return to its senses. There are no half-way solutions with it other than boycotting and isolating it.

The London Times said that Qatar should choose between being the West’s ally or foe, and that if it chooses the latter, it should be isolated. This claim came too late, while Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, and Bahrain sensed the Qatari danger before everyone else.

In the end, countries are patient. They wait and see; but they never accept to be touched by an
evil that comes from a state that claims to be good. Certainly, it is not necessary that this isolation be as open and public as the four countries have done. However, a mere conviction of this very dangerous, silky state, proves that Qatar still hides more threats to all those who engage with it.

Every day there is a growing conviction that the best resolution taken in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), after the late King Fahd’s 1990 decision to liberate Kuwait, is to boycott Qatar and stop the harm coming from it. So the longer the boycott, the greater the benefits. The isolation of Qatar carries real and tremendous gains, and the best is yet to come.

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