Flag of Qatar, Via Flacker Photo Creative
CAIRO – 4 August 2017: Qatar’s government approved law that allows permanent residency to some of the foreign residents, according to Qatari state-owned news agency QNA on Thursday.
“This presidency will be granted to the sons of Qatari women who were married to foreign men, and also for some people who gave the country ‘huge favors and services’, and those who have ‘special competencies’ the state may need,” the newly approved law stated.
This law, however, raised some fears that the gas-rich country may use the new law to grant permanent residency for some wanted people, labeled as terrorists by other governments.
“This new law is provoking for the Arab countries and completely contradictory with the list of demands issued to Doha’s government regarding reconciliation. Egypt, Bahrain, the UAE and Saudi Arabia demanded Qatar to deport those controversial people who are involved in accusations of terrorism, not to give them permanent residency,” Mohamed Hamed, an international relations specialist, told Egypt Today on Friday.
Also, Ahmed Al Ananai, another international relations specialist, told Egypt Today that Qatar may be trying to find a legal way to justify those wanted people’s residence inside the country.
“It is insisting on backing and supporting terrorism,” Al Ananai said.
On July 20, Qatar agreed to new amendments regarding its terrorism law, including redefining terrorists, crimes, terrorist acts and entities, and financing terrorism.
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, which 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; 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 on July 5.
On Friday, July 7, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the 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.