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Qatar: The Tortoise-like Policy - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Qatar is dealing with its vicinity similarly to the tortoise when it senses danger. After 39 days of the boycott, Doha has only made one step out of hundred due others – it signed a memorandum of understanding with the US on fighting terrorism funding.

Qatar procrastinated long before taking this small step, which ensured that it still has a long way to go.

Doha was disclosed by revealing Riyadh Declaration details – it wanted to tell the world through its US ally that it is advancing in the fight against terrorism. Theoretically this might be true, but how much time does Doha still have to move forward in its pending crisis?

Honestly, if Qatar sticks to its attitude and its tortoise-like and acting-smart policy in anticipation of upcoming surprises, then there won’t be any light at the end of the tunnel.

If Doha wishes to extend the crisis then let it be. It is Qatar that is suffering from the boycott. It is Qatar whose land borders are closed and is experiencing economic, political, security and social agony. It is Qatar that is complaining.

Nothing of what has been mentioned affects the four states that have enough patience to achieve their vision and adjust Doha’s attitude. Procedures taken against Doha – as revealed by the four states’ statements on Wednesday – were the result of Qatari authorities continuous activities that back terrorism, fund it, embrace extremists, spread hatred and extremism, and interfere in internal affairs of other states.

These activities should be completely brought to an end in execution of the legit and just demands. Let Doha endure a boycott that might last for months or years as long as it continues with these activities and shows no willingness to stop them or abide by its obligations.

Let’s recall that several regimes chose the policy of intransigence over maturity – a quick glance over them gives us an assumption of where Qatar is heading.

As for Doha’s reliance on a western pressure – especially from the US or UK – these are no more than mistaken political considerations. These states are playing their role to contain the political crisis since they are allies but at the end of the day their diplomacy will have a limit.

It is true that foreign ministers perform their diplomatic roles but it is incorrect to wait for a pressure from these states for one simple reason: the four states didn’t violate the international law or any state’s sovereignty until now in their procedures.

All what these states did was that they hurdled interests of another state on their land.

Therefore, no state – no matter how strong – can oblige these states to change their stance.

Also, despite the western countries diplomatic efforts but they are aware that the solution must be a Gulf one or as the White House previously stated that it is a “family issue”.

It is a family issue. Even the British foreign minister reduced expectations from his visit when he stated in Kuwait that it is unlikely to reach a prompt solution and that the crisis will last long. While the State Department spokesman stated that it is early to expect reaching an outcome, adding that there are months away from a true solution.

The US minister efforts are appreciated by the four states. What counts is Washington’s ability to contribute in a solution based on the six declared principles of Cairo meeting that represent highlights that Qatar is expected to abide by.

The Qatari camouflage step in signing a MoU disclosed Doha claims of previously fighting terrorism, else why didn’t it sign this memorandum years ago but waited until the quadrille-boycott? The agreement is the same.

Doha is in a quest to promote this stance and to cash in on it from Washington. Qatar seems unaware that it will seek US help then return eventually to Riyadh for resolving its crisis.

Salman Al-dossary

Salman Al-dossary

Salman Aldosary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

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