WHEN the United Arab Emirates (UAE) declared unity on Dec 2, 1971; Ra’as Al-Khaima remained outside the union. However, it decided to join the newborn country seven months later due to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Today, after 46 years, we see the successful example of UAE that is considered the most successful integration model in Arab history. We see the progress which continues day after day and the entire world witnesses developing renaissance despite the economic difficulties that negatively affected different countries in the world. Nevertheless, the UAE has never stopped overcoming difficulties.
That admirable example remains the dream of GCC countries, represented in their desire to turn from cooperation to unity. Unfortunately, some members of the GCC are still refusing to remove obstacles for feeble reasons.
Today, after the recent crisis between Qatar and the GCC, does the leadership in Doha think it is capable of confronting dangers alone while it lives on the sideline of the GCC?
Since the very early beginnings, diplomacy has always been the only way to handle disputes between GCC counties. Nonetheless, the insistence of Qatar to violate the one voice of GCC has started to arouse fears not only among the GCC countries but also in the international arena, especially on the issue of supporting terrorism. We heard the American calls for withdrawing military bases from Qatar. Once America lets Qatar down, the latter will definitely start reviewing its relations with the former.
Will Turkey keep its military base as it is in Qatar, particularly if Qatar seeks support from Iran — the enemy of all countries in the region?
The Qatari leadership should remember history which established the fact that whoever relies on Iran is destined to fall. Iran’s mercenary groups turned Lebanon into a failed State, as it is happening now in Iraq and Syria. The catastrophe is even more devastating in Yemen such that Iran’s supporters have been preventing the world from treating the cholera epidemic which has been ravaging innocent people. They are doing this to make Yemenis submissive to the whims of the Persian religious leader.
In the past six years, the Qatari policy was based on the slogan, “Defending Rights of Nationalities” — the same fake slogan used by the Mullah regime to interfere in the affairs of other nations. It used the slogan to interfere in Libya where billions of dollars were spent in arming militias and destroying the country. This also happened in Iraq and Syria, while it attempted to interfere in Egypt by protecting and sponsoring the Muslim Brotherhood Movement. At the same time, the GCC countries are trying hard to ensure everybody is on the same page against chaos and in clamping down terrorism.
This means the Qatari policy is not only about singing beyond the tunnel alone, but also dragging crises into our countries. Everybody is aware of Qatari money paid to some blocs and groups in GCC countries to destabilize these nations.
Is Qatar, which wants to be the odd one out of the council, capable of resisting the wind blowing through the region while threatening all countries? Will it realize, even if it is late, that nobody wishes to see it outside the single harmonious line which has proven its capability and strength in historical articulation? This includes facing the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and numerous efforts of Iran to ‘consume’ Bahrain.
The GCC is a strong fort which protects our countries, so we don’t think any reasonable person will opt out of it. Tradition, culture and norms are one; thereby, dictating the agreements and treaties of unity. The member States succeeded in implementing it, because it expresses the minds of citizens and their dreams. Will the Qatari leadership realize this fact and retrace steps to the right path?
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times