The Strategist

Arab world weakens the blockade of Qatar

07/21/2017 - 14:55

Qatar's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Alya Al Thani, said on Thursday in an interview with The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal that the "anti-Qatar coalition" led by Saudi Arabia withdrew 13 demands presented to the emirate a month ago. Instead, the countries put forward a new list of conditions for the resumption of relations with Qatar. Now, the list contains only six points.

Juanedc via flickr
Juanedc via flickr
The Permanent Representative of Qatar to the UN, Alya Al Thani, whose words are published on the official website of the country's Foreign Ministry, reckons that the coalition's decision to cancel its 13 demands resulted from "pressure from the international community". She is convinced that these advances in resolving the current crisis situation are, in fact, an aspiration of the countries to maintain their reputation in the international arena, and not "a manifestation of benevolence or diplomatic flexibility."

The new list of requirements includes 6 points, instead of the previous 13. This was announced at a joint press conference in New York by the foreign ministers of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain. Now we are talking only about the fact that Qatar should "fight against extremism and terrorism," abandon "calls for intolerance and violence," and "comply with the agreements of 2013 and 2014 and all the results of the Arab-American summit in Riyadh, which took place in May 2017 ". In addition, the foreign ministers separately noted that Qatar should "refuse to interfere in the internal affairs of other states and support illegal formations." This was reported on Thursday by the UAE news agency.

The list of requirements to Qatar, thus, excludes the points on the withdrawal of the Turkish military base from the country’s territory and the severance of diplomatic relations with Iran.

Recall, there has been already a month and a half since the beginning of the political crisis in the Arab countries. The conflict is comparable only to the boycott of Egypt after the conclusion of the Camp David agreements with Israel in 1979. One of the richest and most influential countries in the region - Qatar - was isolated on June 5. Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Yemen, the interim government of Libya, and the Maldives severed the diplomatic relations with the state. The first four states announced expulsion of all Qatar citizens and termination of transport communications. The demarche occurred shortly after Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, supposedly told about the need for rapprochement with Shiite Iran, the main geopolitical opponent of the Sunni monarchies of the Persian Gulf (Doha later declared that the announcement occurred due to a hacker attack). The international community repeatedly urged the parties to sit down at the negotiating table, while the foreign ministers of the United States, France, and Malaysia made a series of visits to the Gulf countries to resolve the situation.