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A conflict that impacts all Arabs

Jun 11,2017 - Last updated at Jun 11,2017

The origins of the tension between Qatar and other GCC countries go back several years, to the Arab Spring.

During this time, the GCC countries felt that Qatar was playing an active role in feeding discontent, and the dispute was resolved with the transition to power from Emir Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani to his son Tamim in 2013.

As part of this transition, Qatar provided assurances about a shift in the role it played in the region.

The following year, the Gulf countries were not content with the progress, and Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from Doha, and called for sanctions similar to those applied this week, including cutting diplomatic ties and closing all land, sea and air borders with this Gulf state.

The events of this week are the culmination of the tensions that have been playing out over the last four years.

Qatar is accused of supporting extremism, which it made no effort to counter.

In fact, Doha has initiated aggressive media campaigns against Egypt, UAE and Saudi Arabia through the wide network of media outlets it sponsors.

The issues with Qatar span the Arab world, as the impact is felt across the region.

The main players have tried over several years to promote change in Qatar, to no avail.

While it may appear reactionary, this process has been playing out for many years, but Qatar has not sufficiently responded to ease the tensions or address the concerns of its Arab neighbours.

The process of isolating Qatar is part of a systematic plan that is likely to attract international support.

The move comes immediately after US President Donald Trump’s visit to Riyadh, where he called for an Islamic coalition to fight terrorism and radicalism.

These developments place much greater pressure on Qatar to shift its policies and actions.

The promises of the past are no longer going to be enough, and Qatar will need to take concrete action to avoid further complications of its relationships within the region and internationally, which will no doubt have an impact on its economy.

Jordan is fully aware of the current situation and recognise that it is no longer a Gulf conflict, but one that impacts all Arabs.

Furthermore, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt are Jordan’s key strategic allies, so it is only logical for Jordan to consider a supportive position on this issue.

 

 

amersabaileh@yahoo.com

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Comments

It seems as though countries who are terrified by the thought of democratic representation of their population are the ones who are worried about Qatar. Never before have we seem lobbying efforts of Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, and Tel Aviv so fervently working to isolate a friendly Arab, Sunni country. Recognizing and supporting legitimate popular uprisings across the region and identifying with the Palestinian armed resistance has never been wrong. This Iranian paranoia is hilarious. If this is what these countries need to do to feel smugger in their power, they might as well reconsider their whole strategy. It truly is ridiculous.

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