One would have thought a fight between brothers wouldn’t last long. That has not been the case in the Gulf. On the 23rd of May 2017, the Qatari News Agency Media website came under cyber-attacks in which false articles attributed to the Emir of Qatar S...
the, gcc, crisis, qatar, blockade
One would have thought a fight between brothers wouldn’t last long. That has not been the case in the Gulf. On the 23rd of May 2017, the Qatari News Agency Media website came under cyber-attacks in which false articles attributed to the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani were posted. On the 5th of June 2017, the GCC plunged into a major crisis when Saudi Arabia, The United Emirate, Bahrain, Egypt Jordan, and others severed ties with Qatar. All air, land, and sea borders were immediately shut against Qatar while the rest of the world watched in shock. Despite all forms of oppression, Qatar has been standing firm reminding Her neighbors that the country is a sovereign and autonomous state. How long will this crisis last, and where is it heading?
The GCC can be very unpredictable, and one can only look up to history for a cue on possibilities. In 2014, the said countries also severed ties with Qatar over fictitious, fabricated, and unverified claims. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain were quick to withdraw their ambassadors from Doha on the 5th of March 2014. Mediated by highly respected Kuwait’s Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad, the crisis was brought to a halt with the signing of the Riyadh Agreement, which was signed on the 17th of April 2014. Soon after the signing of the Riyadh Agreement, there was an impasse, leading to an extension of the Riyadh Agreement. The signing of the extended agreement saw the return of all three ambassadors to Doha.
The present GCC crisis seems to have defied all possible mediation, and there appears to be no form of hope in sight. The blockading countries initially issued a list of demands with a ten days ultimatum for Qatar to comply, but Qatar abruptly rejected. In October 2019, talks were opened between Doha and blockading countries, but a mutual understanding could not be reached bringing talks to an end in January 2020. While Qatar deputy prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani has continued to reiterate Qatar’s willingness to resolve the long-standing crisis, the country will not undermine its sovereignty and autonomy. Efforts by the United States to mend broken fences in other to have a United GCC front in its fight against Iran also did not yield any positive result.
Recently as Qatar has been allowed to participate in several GCC executive meetings and military drills maybe there will be a ray of light at the end of the tunnel. In December 2019, Qatar prime minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani’s was allowed to set his feet on Saudi Arabian soil for the first time since the start of the GCC crises in 2017 and ever since Qatar as participated in a few other meetings.
While the world hopes for a possible end to the crisis and in whichever direction, the crisis goes, it is obvious it has only made Qatar stronger, self-reliant and sustainable. Hopefully, we will see more diplomatic meetings and see all blockading countries open for talks that will bring an end to this melee. It’s a good thing to see brothers united.