x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Qatar won’t cooperate with Cooperation Council

Mohammed Al Hammadi, of Al Ittihad, says Qatar seems to be playing the role of “unruly sibling” to its Gulf neighbours. Other views: Mazen Hammad (Al Watan) on US policy and Al Bayan on Syria.

When it comes to a nation making promises, pretending to be committed to its word and then signing agreements with specific stipulations and clear requirements that it confidently declares it will follow, what is one to do when it forgets its commitments?

That was the question about the recent actions of Qatar that was posed by Mohammed Al Hammadi, editor in chief of The National’s Arabic sister newspaper Al Ittihad.

Two weeks after Qatar’s fellow GCC members, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, recalled their ambassadors, Qatar is maintaining its position and stubbornly defying its neighbours. It tries to evade matters with talks of sovereignty and refuses to allow any interference in its decisions – while knowing such is not the case – and trying to suggest that the reason behind the dispute is its support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

This topic was not even raised during the meeting involving the King of Saudi Arabia and the Emirs of Kuwait and Qatar last November in Riyadh or in the last meeting in Kuwait in February.

“Qatar is well aware that the real reason behind this dispute is the support it shows to anyone who has tried to jeopardise the security, stability and peace of those three countries and other Gulf states,” he wrote.

“These countries have the necessary evidence to support this position but refrain from divulging it so as not to cause Qatar any embarrassment. ”

Until now, Qatar has been given enough time to make a decision that acts in its own best interest, that of its people and of the region. These countries may not wish to wait too long for Doha to take the make the right decision.

“Qatar seems to enjoy holding the role of the ‘unruly sibling’ who chooses not to listen to others, ignores its neighbours’ demands and swims against the current as if enjoying the adrenalin rush induced by causing others anxiety,” Al Hammadi explained.

Qatar is a member of the GCC and is familiar with its statutes and objectives. Everyone thought Qatar did not foresee the full consequences of its support for the Muslim Brotherhood and other organisations that seek to cause instability throughout the Gulf.

At a time when the people in the GCC look forward to turning this council into a union, they discover that a key member in this council stands as an obstacle, resorting to practices denounced by other GCC countries.

Should Qatar exit the GCC, ties of friendship will remain, as with most other states.

“We should not delude ourselves by attending negotiations and pretending that ties of kinship perdure while they publicly seem to be harmful for others’ interests,” concluded Al Hammadi.

“What we require, at this time, is clarity, transparency and honesty with oneself.”

The Syrian tragedy is a slur against humanity

Three years after the Syrian revolution erupted to claim dignity and freedom, Syrians continue to pay a higher price than all the other all Arab Spring countries combined, noted the UAE-based newspaper Al Bayan.

The death toll is about 200,000 and counting and three million refugees are in neighbouring countries in indescribable humanitarian conditions, with millions more people displaced within the nation, the paper said.

The status quo in Syria is a slur on the international community whose only concern is to strip the regime of its chemical weapons. When the regime and the opposition met in the Geneva 2 farce, the international players allowed the regime to dodge the people’s demands and shun its Geneva 1 obligations.

The continuing crisis is not only a looming threat to neighbouring countries and the region, but also to international peace and order. This must prompt the world’s major powers, and particularly the US and Russia, to reach a settlement that ends the crisis and fulfils the people’s demands, the editorial continued.

The international community must assume its moral and humanitarian duties and act quickly to end the tragedy of the Syrian people. The world’s continuing silence is absolutely unjustifiable. After the Geneva talks failed, the world must not leave the Syrians between the fire of growing terrorism and that of the regime’s brutality.

US’s global clout needs to be re-established

The US’s strategies in Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere require review and re-evaluation. The sanctions Washington is threatening to impose on Russia and the “soft” assistance if offers to the Syrian opposition fail to halt the massacres, suggested the columnist Mazen Hammad in the Qatari daily Al Watan.

As Moscow prepares to snatch Crimea from Ukraine and continues to support the Assad regime’s war on Syrians, Barack Obama is under pressure to bring back a modicum of prestige to the US position, the writer noted.

Moscow has surprised Washington with its decision to invade Crimea. Likewise, China unilaterally decided to extend its sovereignty to a series of barren islands. Meanwhile, Washington’s imposition of sanctions on Iran didn’t stop it pursuing its plans to enrich uranium.

“It appears that the US’s adversaries are testing Washington’s limits following its withdrawal from Iraq and soon from Afghanistan,” the writer opined.

Mr Obama acknowledges he is overseeing a “realignment” era that brings to mind Washington’s isolation following the two world wars and the Vietnam War, making the US appear weak.

“But frankly, in Obama’s term, strongmen like Putin and Netanyahu got a chance to expand their powers on the ground,” he said.

* Digest compiled by Translation Desk

Translation@thenational.ae