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Qatar Under Pressure - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The way things are going and the measures taken by the four countries to end the Qatari situation means that expectations are high that they will succeed no matter how strongly the government in Doha resisted.

This week’s political meetings in New York had shed a light on the crisis and where it is heading.

If Qatar agreed to proposed concessions, it will finally be able to get from underneath the pressure it had been experiencing. However, if it chose to bargain by accepting some conditions and stalling others, the crisis will last another year.

The entire world benefits from confronting Qatar. This small state with massive financial surpluses and immense desire to create chaos in the region has caused a lot of destruction.

The Middle East managed to almost rid itself of all regimes financing and supporting chaos except two: Qatar and Iran.

By eliminating the role of Qatar, problems will reduce and religious extremists will lose power. Iran will remain alone.

For two decades, Qatar was responsible for all the chaos and extremism and it was even partially responsible for terrorism. At the beginning, belittling its influence and effects, no one stopped Qatar. But, when crises backed by Qatar grew and became numerous, Doha hid behind its alliances.

The agreement between four Arab countries capable of thwarting Qatar turned the tables and beseiged Qatar.

When not monitored, Qatar is a dangerous state. It owns a surplus of gas and oil revenues enabling it to fund extremist organizations across the world and plan to topple regimes opposing it. This makes Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE adamant to end Qatar’s practices and confront its policies.

When asked to choose between the four boycotting countries and Qatar, most countries choose the former considering their influence, significance, and interests.

Prior to meetings held this month on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly’s session, Qatar sought to convince superpowers to support it against the four boycotting countries but it failed.

Germany’s chancellor advised Qatar’s Emir to secretly negotiate with the four countries, meaning he has to make concessions.

This is a crucial week for Qataris. They will try to convince the US to mediate once again and seal an appropriate political deal with the quartet.

Qatar leadership might not succeed because of what happened when Trump mediated following Emir of Kuwait’s initiative. However, Emir of Qatar failed the mediation on its onset.

One might wonder why would Qatar want a mediation then thwart it. The secret is that Qatar is controlled by two rulers. Emir Tamim who only approves decisions but has no authority to execute and the former Emir, his father, and his former foreign minister, who still rule the country’s institutions.

If all solutions failed to be launched within these two weeks, the crisis can prolong for a year or two
and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the anti-terror quarter has nothing to lose from boycotting Qatar.

Doha, however, has a lot to lose as it cannot live with all these pressures. The country’s port and airport are open, still, Qatar’s authorities are suffocating because of this boycott.

Qatar is under enormous pressure and that is not just limited to its only land border of 60 kilometers with Saudi Arabia as it exceeds to pursuit from international and regional institutions.

As time passes Qataris and foreigners will realize that the crisis will not be resolved soon with compromise and surrender. It will take longer and the state will weaken.

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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