Qatar adopts a two-faced policy – File photo
CAIRO – 6 August 2017: Apparently, it is now evident that the diplomatic standoff with Qatar is not going to be resolved swiftly, with many questions raising as to what impact the ongoing tension will have on the tiny Gulf emirate, Faisal Abbas, Arab News editor-in-chief wrote.
In an article that is entitled "Bad news for Brand Qatar", Abbas said these unanswered questions are enormously important on a political level, such as the issue of how effective the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will be in case the rift continued.
Abbas criticized how Doha keeps insinuating that the boycott has not affected it, saying that ven a junior business analyst would know that any real economic impact would be mid- to long-term, rather than immediate.
"This is particularly true given that Doha has the resources to offset the economic pressure for the time being," Abbas wrote. "We should also not forget that the boycotting countries (Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt) have not yet used all their arsenal, such as withdrawing their assets from Qatar," he added.
Referring to an Arab News/YouGov poll on how the U.S. views the Qatar crisis, Abbas said it is a surprise how quickly the diplomatic row has negatively affected Qatar's reputation in the United States.
Abbas also shed the light on Qatar's two-faced policy. He said it was interesting to see that despite the billions spent by Qatar on various “soft power” initiatives — from education to charity to international sport — the study found that more Americans associate it with supporting terror than anything else.
The Arab News editor-in-chief said There are various explanations for this negative perception in the US. One is that there is simply no smoke without fire.
He added the reality is that many of the wanted terrorists on the list provided by the boycotting quartet are also on US or UN terror lists.
"What most rational observers fail to understand is why Qatar does not simply hand over these internationally wanted terrorists," Abbas wrote. "This is in no way a breach of its sovereignty; on the contrary, it enhances “Brand Qatar” as a country that is keen to cooperate regionally and internationally in combating terror and making a serious effort to reconcile with its neighbors."