Doha Must Raise the White Flag

In face of the recent angry boycott of Qatar, Doha is like a trapped cat searching for a way out. Rather than dealing with its crisis and admitting it had become a serious and dangerous threat to everyone in the region, Doha resorted to its old tricks.

To the Qatari cat we say: quit jumping off windows, the crisis has only one way out and that is through reaching an understanding with the neighbors. Iran’s Supreme Leader will do you no good and neither will Turkish soldiers, or US circles that believe in half solutions, or German statements. None of the parties that you resorted to will save you.

The four countries boycotting Qatar have 13 demands which in reality share one goal: Qatar regime end its harm and the damage it is creating for the region’s countries which will resort to restraining Doha regime if it continued to disagree.

It seems that the countries have made up their mind not to remain silent over threats to their security and existence, thus reaching a point where Qatar tastes its own medicine.

As for this insistence, for more than two years, Egypt has been calling the Qatari regime to end its support for the opposition whether armed or civilian. Egyptian affairs only concern Egyptians.

Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE had repeatedly asked Doha to halt funding extremist opposition and stop supporting armed groups in Yemen and other areas.

Bahrain suffered long from Qatar’s funding of armed and civil opposition.

The countries insisted on the 13 conditions because they have previously tried to reason with the Qatari regime which only exposed its lies.

During the 2013 Riyadh agreement, Doha signed a document pledging it won’t be part of any aggression against its neighbor Saudi Arabia.

After protesting that Qatar didn’t fulfill its agreement, Doha claimed it didn’t pledge to anything.

Faced with this denial, mediating countries suggested a mechanism to ensure Qatar’s commitment to its obligations. A year barely passed and Qatar was linked to every crisis Gulf countries faced, which confirmed that it was preparing the worst against them. Above all of that, the regime was lying.

Qatar claimed it is committed to what was asked of it. It literally did by adopting a deceitful approach to abide by the Riyadh agreement. It stopped hosting extremist opposition figures in Doha but it transferred them to other countries such as Turkey, Britain, and the US to work against their countries and funded them.

Some of these figures were granted the Qatari nationality, thus the regime can claim it was not funding Egyptian or Saudi extremists.

Qatar obliged al-Jazeera channel to steer away from Saudi Arabia and it stopped inciting and broadcasting terrorists’ recordings. However, it launched several media networks for the exact role, including alternative television channels funded in Turkey and Britain.

Qatar now thinks it can still deceit the countries but in different formations. But the crisis has escalated now and Cairo can see that Qatar’s actions are threatening its security, especially when it funds armed terrorist groups in Libya that execute its attacks inside Egypt. These groups attack Egypt amid Al Jazeera’s celebrations and obvious incitement against it.

Saudi Arabia also no longer kept silent over Houthis who shelled Saudi cities with support from Iranians and Qataris.

Saudi Arabia cannot remain silent over Qatar’s funding of deceived Saudis who fight with ISIS and al-Nusra Front in Syria and Iraq.

We are aware that Qatar’s real aim and project is for these Saudis to return later to Saudi Arabia and fight there.

This is similar to what Qatar did when it incited Saudis who joined al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and revolted against their country in the past two decades.

The battle is clear. Qatar is targeting regimes by toppling or weakening it. It is inevitable for its deeds to be met with the same action. It is better for this misbehaved and infamous cat to raise its white flag rather than believing its own claims. Doha is threatening that confrontation will lead to a similar result of the “Safwan Tent” but we fear it will become “Rabaa Square”.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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