Thursday , January 17 2019

Qatar … the end of political blackmail

ANYONE who listened to the Qatari foreign minister’s speech at the Human Rights Council will definitely be baffled. When Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdul-Rahman Al Thani demanded that the solution should be far from dictation and infringement of sovereignty, his country’s government continued to interfere in the affairs of other countries and shelter members of terrorist groups.

Therefore, we ask: Is it not direct infringement on the sovereignty of other countries whenever Qatar interferes in the affairs of the four countries blockading Qatar and provocations practiced by Qatar through its media organizations and its intelligence, in cooperation with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, or Qatar is the only one entitled to such transgressions, whereas it prevents other countries from defending themselves?

Bickering about infringement on sovereignty will not solve the crisis. It will only complicate the issue, especially after the enormous backslide caused by Qatar’s stances after the press conference of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in the White House — when Qatar attempted to turn what His Highness the Amir said in its favor.

Qatar tried to send waves of delight and hope to the souls of regional people concerning the approaching end of the crisis, whereas His Highness the Amir, the man who endured from the very start the strenuous shuttle movement, even during Ramadan, between the capital cities of Gulf countries in a bid to prevent deterioration of relations.

However, it seems that Doha has already opted to declare what is contrary to its intention.

Keen followers of developments regarding the 13 demands will realize that Qatar’s lamentations concerning sovereignty issues are nothing but a smoke screen.

It is clear that these demands do not even insinuate anything related to the sovereignty of Qatar, whether in terms of demanding severing Qatar’s relations with groups linked to terrorism such as Hezbollah, DAESH, Al-Nusra Front and Muslim Brotherhood or severing intelligence relations and downgrading its diplomatic representation with Iran.

These demands are in accordance with the Gulf Cooperation Council’s decisions which Qatar is supposed to abide by, given that such decisions are binding only through unanimous agreement by members of the council.

The main demand which Qatar is trying to avoid is stopping the financing of terrorism and its interference in the internal affairs of the four blockading countries, because it is impossible to have proper relations in the midst of the political blackmail practiced by Qatar.

There are many examples of such political blackmail, the latest is the provocative documentary broadcasted by Al Jazeera channel against the Kingdom of Bahrain. This is in addition to the list of distorted events whose objective is to spark sectarian sedition through the instigation of Shia towards the rule, and presenting Iran as defender of the Shia population in the region.

Therefore, Qatar must understand very well that those who are killing people on the streets of France, Spain, Belgium, Australia and other world cities owing to terrorism, their government will never continue to stand with their arms folded.

If Doha appreciates and supports the mediation efforts of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah as its foreign minister mentioned in the Human Rights Council meeting, such support and appreciation should have started by respecting the mediator accompanied by absolute conformity with the mediation process for Qatar to exit from the empty circle it had imposed on itself.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

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