CAIRO – 29 August 2017: Nation's Future Center for political and strategic studies released a study on the Arab-Qatari crisis and its future scenarios. Eighty days after the Arab quartet had decided to sever diplomatic ties with Qatar, and the Kuwaiti meditation efforts; experts do not rule out further escalation for many reasons.
According to the Nation’s Future Center’s study, affiliated to the Nation’s Future Party and chaired by Mohamed al-Garhy, the Qatari royal family will be excluded from the ruling arena as an optional solution to the Arab rift.
Qatar’s resort to Iran, politicization of Hajj and support of the Bahraini opposition forces are the main reasons for widening the gap between the four Arab countries - Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Qatar.
The study examines Russia’s meditation role, proposed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during his Gulf tour which started on August 28, in addition to the Kuwaiti emir’s endeavors to settle down the crisis.
Qatari-Iranian strong ties
Doha has continued enhancing its relations with Iran in a clear challenge to the Quartet’s demand, reiterated in several occasions, to cut ties with the Persian country.
Qatar’s Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani shows full support to the Shiite state by sending a delegation to the inauguration ceremony of Iran’s president, returning Qatar’s ambassador to Iran on August 25, and signing cooperation agreements with Iranian businessmen.
Initially, relations between Qatar and the other Arab Gulf states were strained after Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani directed a message to the four Arab countries - Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain - that “being hostile to Iran is unwise.”
“The resumption of the Qatari embassy’s work in Iran is within a framework of creating stability, and that one of the connections between both states is built upon creating a secure economy and settling
Qatar’s problems,” former Iranian Ambassador to Qatar, Abdallah Suhrabi said in an interview with Iranian Jame Jam Online.
Qatar’s endeavors to politicize Hajj
On June 5, Saudi Arabia closed Al-Salwa crossing border with Qatar, although King Salman bin Abdel Azizi decided to open the crossing to allow the Qatari pilgrims to perform the Hajj.
The Qatar Pilgrimage and Umrah Contractors Committee issued a statement on August 22, apologizing for not transferring the Qatari pilgrim convoy to Saudi Arabia this year. The statement read, “We regret to extend to the pilgrims in the State of Qatar [our apology for not transferring] the pilgrimage convoy this year,” according to the statement.
Saudi Arabia also took an initiative to transport Qatari pilgrims through Saudi Airlines and cover their Hajj costs. The initiative was refused by Qatar, which said in an official statement by its Foreign Ministry that “facilitating the performance of Hajj would be through lifting the siege on Qatar.”
Qatar’s support to Bahraini opposition groups
In an official statement, Bahraini Interior Ministry revealed Doha’s scheme to destabilize the Bahraini regime. Saud Al-Kahtany, an adviser in Saudi Arabia’s Royal Diwan, accused Qatar of having a role in deliberately provoking the Arab Spring uprisings as well as the incidents that took place in 2011.
Bahrain state TV broadcasted a series of documentary films revealing Doha’s role in inciting violence, chaos and intelligence moves to overthrow the Bahraini regime, exposing an academy called the Change Academy that was founded by Qatar and is located in Austria.
Qatar’s New Prince
Qatari Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali bin Abdullah bin Jassem Al-Thani has appeared on the scene lately as a mediator to Saudi Arabia in order to open Al-Salwa border for Qatari pilgrims. Qatar’s ruler Sheikh Tamim feels his reign is in danger after appearance of Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani on the scene and the welcoming spirit that his appearance was received by the Qataris and Arabs, most importantly the Saudi regime.
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz (R) meets Qatari Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali bin Abdullah bin Jassem Al Thani (L) in Tangier – Courtesy of CC via Al-Arabiya
Qatar’s terror funds reach Chad and India
Qatar is accused of funding terrorist and extremist groups in non-Arab countries atop of them is Chad and India. On Aug. 24, Chad closed its embassy in Doha.
India’s national investigation agency revealed Qatar has funded terrorist groups in India. Moreover, Indian authorities accused Doha of recruiting new members to join the Islamic State (IS) in Kashmir.
Possible scenarios of Arab-Qatari crisis
There are 3 options that Qatar has to choose from. Firstly, Qatar’s stubbornness remains against the Arab Quartet’s demands, amid repetitive news about Qatar’s Tamim’s intention to withdraw from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Secondly, mediation efforts led by Kuwait may yield fruit, and Qatar abides by the Arab demands.
Thirdly, the Arab quartet succeeds to tame the Gulf state through imposing more economic sanctions against Doha. Manama waved to sue the Qatari regime at the United Nations after uncovering Doha’s support to opposition groups in Bahrain and Qatar’s endeavors to spread chaos in Arab countries.
On July 5, a list of 13-demands was given to Doha’s government by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates 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.
On Friday, July 7, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain said in another joint statement that the ultimatum that was 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.