Is Qatar a dual policy country?



Thu, 20 Jul 2017 - 05:14 GMT


Thu, 20 Jul 2017 - 05:14 GMT

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani - File photo

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani - File photo

CAIRO – 20 July 2017: Since Monday June 5, when Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, decided to cut all diplomatic ties with Qatar for its ‘continuous support for terrorism,’ it seemed that no one can control the leaked documents and statements published by the Arabian Media outlets, which explains how Doha’s government allegedly conspired against their governments.

The documents and statements which came out of the Qatari officials were not usually (clear enough) according to Russia Today article published July 18 regarding Doha’s reply to the 13-demands Arabian list. “Qatar responded with ‘laa’m,’ which is a mix between the translation of the two Arabic word yes and no.”

This ‘laa’m’ word was originally used by former Palestinian President Yasser Arafat replying to a French question in one of the press conferences.

It was added in the Russian-media outlet article that Doha’s reply did not include, neither a direct yes nor a direct no. As for closing the military turkey base in Doha, Qatar said that Turkey is a Muslim country and there is nothing in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) charter demands it not to cooperate with Ankara military.

Regarding the terrorism backing, Qatar said that it considers itself an active member regarding countering terrorism, according to RT.

So, can we say that ‘laa’m’ is Qatar’s political approach?

Two Turkey military troops have arrived Qatar since June 18 “for military exercise” according to the Qatari state-owned news agency. The troops included about one thousand soldiers, as the Turkish air forces are expected to join them as well.

Some media outlets considered sending the Turkey troops to Qatar is a serious challenge to the Arab countries, and that Ankara is taking Doha’s Side.

Saudi Ambassador to Turkey, Walid bin Abdulkarim Al-Khuraiji said Wednesday June 28, that his government hoped that Ankra’s government remains neutral regarding the Qatari - Arab dispute, and not to interfere in the political situation for the favor of any party.

“The foreign powers should know that any kind of interference in the Arab - Qtarai dispute is not going to solve it, in contrast, the situation is going to be more complicated,” Al-Khuraiji said in statements to daily Sabah newspaper.

“We hoped Ankara remained neutral regarding the dispute, and to preserve its good relations with the other Arab and Gulf States; however any militarily escalation, Qatar should incur its consequences,” Al-Khuraiji said. However; no official statements from Doha has been released regarding the media outlets claims, only on Friday June 30, former Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Işık said that he did not understand the Arab formal demand regarding the closing of the Turkish military base in Qatar.

“The base is training the Qatari soldiers and it exists for the security of Qatar and the region,” Işık added.

Are you really suffering from cutting off diplomatic relations?

On June 16, the head of Qatar’s National Committee for Human Rights said that his country is suffering from the severance of diplomatic ties between Qatar and the Arab Gulf states, and the closure of air space and seaports to Qatar.

NHRC President Ali Al-Mari demanded compensation for the damage done to the Qatari people in statements before the conference held in Geneva. Qatar will “turn to all international means” to help them in their cause, he added.

Mari’s statements, however, were widely questioned by the United Nations reporters present at the conference, as they completely contradicted statements from Qatari officials who insisted their country had not been negatively affected.

“How can you explain the contradiction between your statements now and the past statements by Qatari officials saying your country wasn’t affected due to cutting ties?” one of the reporters asked. Mari, however, did not seem to have an answer.

Mari’s conference was held shortly after the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain permanent missions’ press conference at the U.N. same day.

A statement was released by the missions commenting on early remarks by the High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding the Qatari situation. “Decisions to cut ties with Qatar are a sovereign right of the states concerned and aim to protect their national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism,” the joint statement read.

The statement added that despite the political movements against Doha’s government, their governments had taken many measures regarding the Qatari people affected by the political situation.

Al Jazeera?

Closing Al Jazzera channel has been a controversial Arab demand, which raised international objections as a violation for the right of speech; however in the same time, the Arab countries descried the channel as a “platform for violence and hate speech.”

During a press conference held in Rome, July 1, Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said replying to a question regarding Al Jazeera closing demand, that: “this network has been ‘a source of pride’ to us. It came out in an environment which didn’t allow any other voices but the governments.”

He added that the channel provided a platform for million of the Arab voices for about 21 years. “Who wants to close it, should provides alternatives,” he added.

On the other side, on July 20, The UAE Foreign Ministry released a 4:50 minuets-video of different interviews and talk shows considered to be evidence of giving time and chance for guests known internationally as terrorists, most of them served years in jail for being involved in terrorist attacks or being members of armed groups, including Egyptian Youssef al-Qaradawi, Emir of the Al-Nusra Front Abu Mohammad Al-Julani and Hezbollah leader Samir Al-Kentar.

The official video identified Al Jazeera as “platform for violence and hate speech.”

The Qatari owned channel, also has been in the hot water during the 48th session of the Council of Arab Information Ministers held at the Arab league in Cairo July 12.

Bahraini Minister of Information Affairs Ali bin Mohammed Al-Rumaihi said during his speech that Qatar is taking the terrorism side in a regular base, and that it is not following any of the media ethics.

“They are insisting on broadcasting roamers and lies. The Arab security demands us to be firm regarding what is broadcasted in our channels, there is no such a thing called ultimate freedom in anywhere around the world,” Rumaihi said, adding that “Al Jazeera made no exceptions. They insulted everyone, the Arab armies, countries and even the Arab league. This is not freedom.”

Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Mohammed Qarqash sent the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid bin Ra'ad a letter, July 12, responding to his marks regarding the Arab government demands of closing Al Jazeera channel and how is that related with freedoms.

“Freedom of speech can’t be used in the justification and protection of the hateful thoughts and speeches,” Qarqash said in his letter.

Supporting terrorism vs. countering it

A report released by the U.S. Department of State, July 19 said that the terrorism financiers in Qatar are still using the state’s financial system.

According to Al Arabiya channel, the U.S. State Department added that Qatar is trying to make progress regarding countering terrorism; however, the “terrorism financiers” are still taking advantage of its system.

The report considered IS, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and other groups backed by Tehran as representing the first threat to the American administration, adding that Hezbollah is playing an essential role in backing Syria’s current regime and “its crimes.”

On June 9, President Trump called on Qatar to end its funding of terrorism. “The nation of Qatar, unfortunately, has historically been funding terrorism. We have to stop the funding of terrorism; the time has come to call on Qatar to end its funding and its extremist ideology,” he said during a press conference with his Romanian counterpart Klaus Lohanni.

Trump added that his priority as president is to keep people safe. “We ask Qatar and other countries to do more, and do it fast,” he said. The American president’s statement followed his trip to the Middle East region, which included Saudi Arabia.

On June 5, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Libya and Yemen decided to cut all diplomatic ties with Qatar, hurling allegations that the state supports terrorism. Ports and airspace were cut off to Qatari vessels.

On June 6, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Ahmad Al-Sabah started a tour that included Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar in an attempt to mediate between the three countries.

A list of 13-demands was given to Doha’s government by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain for reconciliation, which includes the closing of Al Jazeera broadcasting; however, Qatar’s response was described as “negative” by the four countries’ foreign ministers in a joint statement released after holding a summit in Cairo July 5.

Friday July 7, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain said in another joint statement that the ultimatum that had been given to Qatar is now void, leading to further legal, political and economic measures against the government of Qatar.

“The Qatari government has purposely thwarted all diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis and has rejected any settlements, reflecting its intention to continue with its destabilizing policies against the interests of the Qatari people,” the Arab quartet said in the statement.

They also condemned Qatar’s “lack of tact and respect” towards the Kuwaiti mediation, as it leaked the list of demands in an attempt to condemn the initiative to failure.



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