Egypt participates in Ukraine International Travel, Tourism Exhibition    139 Palestinians killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza    Palestinian under attack in 73rd anniversary of Nakba Day    Egypt's Health Ministry launches awareness campaigns against COVID-19    Egypt partakes in drafting OECD Recommendations on AI    Palestine's Telecom Ministry names top social media supportive hashtags for maximum engagement    Egypt fines mobile operators EGP 20m for number portability violations    Sudan pledges to investigate killing of 2 protestors during peaceful sit-in    Grand Egyptian Museum finishes installing Tutankhamun's 3rd shrine    Egypt discovers several ancient tombs in Sohag's Al-Hamdiya necropolis    Egypt scales up readiness of hospitals nationwide for Eid Al-Fitr holidays    Egyptian hospitals in Sinai on alert amid Israeli aggression on Gaza    Egypt announces Thursday 1st day of Eid Al-Fitr    Nuweiba: Egypt's paradise of serenity    Egypt's current account deficit jumps to $7.6 bln in 1H of FY2020/21: CBE    Egypt's trade deficit down 1.2% to $3.34bn in February 2021: CAPMAS    Global economic recovery to improve debt service coverage ratios: Moody's    Egypt's Parliament discusses abolishing imprisonment for female debtors    India signs an agreement to buy 300,000 doses of Remdesivir from Eva Pharma    Egypt will locally manufacture first 2m Sinovac vaccine doses by June-end    2021 South East European Film Festival celebrates cinematic diversity of 18 countries    Turkey seeks to restore 'historic unity' with Egyptian people: Erdogan    Elneny's Arsenal targets 'remontada' in Europa League semi-finals    Zamalek eye return to victories at expense of Smouha in Egyptian Premier League    Al Ahly face injuries as they take on Al Ittihad Alexandria    Egypt buys 30 Rafale fighter jets from France    Direct flights between Russia and Egypt will resume in June, Ambassador    Egypt's Ahly is establishing a new stadium, expected to be 'sports complex'    Blinken presses Ethiopia's Abiy to ensure full withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Tigray    Forces opposed to Somali president control parts of Mogadishu    Nine people executed in Egypt over Kerdasa police killings in 2013    UEFA investigating Ibrahimovic's alleged ties to betting company    61 doctors died from coronavirus since start of April: Egypt's medical syndicate    Egypt targets 5.6% inflation rate in FY2020/21, 6% in FY2021/22    Egypt allocates EGP 132 bln to modernise railway system: Transport minister    Real Madrid not thinking about any Super League sanctions: Zidane    Total declares force majeure on Mozambique LNG after attacks    All the winners at the 93rd Academy Awards    Egypt's Ahly granted approval to build new stadium on Cairo outskirts    Aswan Int'l Women's Film Festival dedicates 5th edition to Kawthar Heikal    BREAKING: Egypt's information minister Osama Heikal resigns amid parliamentary criticism    'War was not Egypt's aim, but peace was the ultimate goal,' Sisi says on Sinai Liberation Day anniversary    Factbox: Key nominations for the 2021 Academy Awards    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    Veteran Egyptian journalist Makram Mohamed Ahmed passes away at 86    Allianz Egypt partners with IGNITE to equip brand ambassadors for 2021 Olympics    Hassan Allam consortium wins contract to manage, operate Grand Egyptian Museum    Seasoned Egyptian screenwriter Wahid Hamed dies at 76    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





Qatar crisis continues
Published in Ahram Online on 20 - 10 - 2020

Official sources in the Gulf have downplayed recent media reports suggesting that the Qatar crisis could be resolved soon.
The optimism about a solution to the crisis that led Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt to sever their relations with Qatar in June 2017 came after statements by the Saudi foreign minister in the US last week. Prince Faisal Bin Farhan met his American counterpart Secretary of State Mike Pompeo when he was taking part in US-Saudi strategic dialogue at the State Department in Washington.
In a virtual discussion hosted by the US think tank the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the Saudi foreign minister said that “we continue to be willing to engage with our Qatari brothers, and we hope that they are as committed to that engagement.”
He added that “but we do need to address the legitimate security concerns of the Quartet, and I think there is a path towards that,” in a reference to the four countries that have severed their relations with Qatar. The hint that led to some concluding that there would be a thawing of the ice was Bin Farhan's referring to a solution “in the relatively near future.”
The hope of finding a solution to the Qatar crisis in the “near future” has been shared by all since the start of the crisis three years ago, but that hope is conditional, as the Saudi foreign minister said, on Qatar stopping its support for terrorism and intervention in its neighbours' affairs.
Efforts have been underway since the start of the crisis to get Qatar to change its course of “sabotaging brotherly relations” using its tools of support for terrorist groups and destabilisation of other states in the region.
The Quartet has needed actions and not the empty commitments that Doha has promised but never acted on. Qatar has insisted that its positions are “sovereign foreign-policy matters” and that no one has the right “to dictate to it what to do.”
Many sources confirmed to Al-Ahram Weekly that there was nothing in Bin Farhan's statements to indicate that there were current talks. “There is nothing new from Doha to show that the concerns of the Quartet have been met,” one source said. He was talking about the main reasons for the Quartet's boycott of Qatar, which has demanded Qatar's “cutting ties with Islamist groups, limiting ties with Iran and expelling Turkish troops stationed in the country.”
The Qatar-affiliated media that hyped the prospects of an imminent solution to the crisis is focused on what it has called a “truce” between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. This has long been the way Doha has tried to drive a wedge between the Quartet countries, by giving the false impression that relations with Riyadh are no longer on ice like they are with the rest of the boycotting countries.
A Saudi source stressed that Riyadh was not acting separately from the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain when it comes to the Qatar crisis. “It is a collective position, and the solution will be the same, not individually,” he said.
Commenting on last year's attempt to open a Saudi-Qatari dialogue with American support, he said that what the Qatari foreign minister had tried to convey to the media as a Saudi-Qatari process was not correct. He attributed the failure of that effort in December 2019 to a ploy from Doha “to seek a rapport with Saudi Arabia alone. But it was told bluntly by the Saudi leadership that any resolution of the crisis needed to be with the four countries concerned.”
The message from Saudi Arabia and the other countries is still the same: “change your behaviour, and then we can talk.” Trying to get outside pressure to push for hollow talks will not do any good, Saudi sources have said.
As one pundit put it, “the Americans will not manage to do what others couldn't do,” probably referring to efforts by the late emir of Kuwait sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad who had been mediating between Doha and neighbouring countries in an effort to resolve the crisis. But the Qataris never gave the late emir any leverage to convince the Saudis or Emiratis that the other party was serious.
Though the new Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad, has promised to follow the course of his predecessor, not many think he can do much to push the Qatar crisis to a solution. The Americans have been asking all the parties to sort out their differences, but they have not really been putting a lot of pressure on them, as the Qataris admitted last year when phone links between Riyadh and Doha were planned.
Even the anticipation that there will likely be a Democratic Party president in the White House after next month's elections in the US is unlikely to pressure the Quartet to soften its stance on the crisis. One American scholar who has written extensively on the Gulf said that the new American administration will have other priorities besides “wrangling between Gulf neighbours,” as he put it.
The conclusion is that the Qatar crisis is still on ice and that there is no indication of a solution. The media reports are just another attempt to interpret Saudi statements in such a way as to give a false impression of a resolution.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 22 October, 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly


Clic here to read the story from its source.