The emir’s decision to involve Trump is admirable – Doha, which had refused to make concessions with Sheikh Sabah, now will have to deal with the US president.
Sheikh Sabah noted that Kuwait has suffered from Qatar’s threat, not only by the rabble rousing spurred by the Doha-run news channel Al-Jazeera, but also an earlier dispute that was kept under the radar.
The dispute revolved around Qatar’s funding of Kuwaiti opposition outside the country’s parliament house and supporting street protesters against the government.
Qatar found itself an argument on proclaimed sovereignty rights, a case which does not apply in matters of export, financing and incitement of violence against other states.
In turn, Kuwaiti authorities were forced to bare their teeth by making multiple arrests of prominent protesters, shutting down newspapers, closing television broadcasts and stripping some of their Kuwaiti nationality. Most of these problems were backed by Doha’s authorities. Sheikh Sabah told Trump and the world that Kuwait has suffered from Qatar’s interventions and from its degenerate media.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain echo Kuwait’s complaints, but they have vowed to confront the source. Within only a mere 90 days since the Anti-Terror Quartet boycotted Qatar, to some, the crisis seems to have been an ongoing burden for decades.
While not a single drop of blood was shed, Qatar swayed its people’s attention away from the major wars in the region: In Syria, Yemen and Libya. Instead it put its own screams in the spotlight.
Qatar’s screams faded within the last three months, unable to change the decisions of the four countries, who did not budge. The world now lives in less chaos without Qatar, but Qatar seems unable to adapt to the new circumstances. It wants to force the four countries to lift the boycott, running from one platform to another, from one organization to another, from one mediator to another.
Doha seeks refuge in sovereignty, but there is no sovereignty in the export, financing and incitement of violence against other states.
All of Qatar’s campaigns have achieved nothing. It was Qatar who broke the Kuwaiti emir’s mediation when it could have accepted the Arab quartet’s demands. Most of the demands were already stipulated in the Riyadh Agreement of 2014 which Qatar signed three years ago in the presence of Kuwait’s emir, only to then fail to meet its demands.
Qatar seeks refuge in its proclaimed sovereignty. There is no sovereignty in the export, financing and incitement of violence against other states. Sovereignty may be permissible if the Qatari government incites and finances it only within its borders. But hosting and funding personalities and organizations calling for overthrowing other countries’ regimes have serious consequences.
Qatar stands alone because everyone is bored and tired. They also hate the country’s actions and their support for extremist groups. As stated in the Arab quartet’s explanatory statement, there is unanimity in the region against Qatar. Be certain that most of the Arab states who are officially silent stand with the quartet and agree that Qatar’s funding of extremist groups in their countries and the region must stop. Most of these silent countries are ready to diplomatically support the four countries against Qatar by advising the US administration to stand firm against its government and more.
• Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.