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Qatar distances itself from the outcome of the Mecca conference

Efforts for a unified Gulf over the issue of Iran and ending the blockade have not been fruitful as Qatar has expresses a disagreement with the outcome of the Mecca summit.

Qatar

News Desk |

The efforts of rapprochement from Saudi Arabia to unify the entire Gulf against Iran have been futile as Qatar expressed reservations over the final communiqué of Mecca summit which explicitly targets Iran for promoting aggression in the region.

“The statements condemned Iran but did not refer to a moderate policy to speak with Tehran,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Qatar’s foreign minister said. He disclosed that policy of continued hostility adopted by the rest of the Gulf countries is an extension of the U.S approach toward Iran which should not be the case as there are certain elements of regional stability at stake for the Gulf countries.

The quarter accused Doha of supporting terrorist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood and supporting Iran, which Qatar has consistently been denying.

Qatar’s stance about the summit has not gone down well with Saudi Arabia as the Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubair, has said that Qatar has backtracked from what was already agreed upon. “Countries… during summits announce their positions and reservations in the meetings according to customs and not after the meetings,” Saudi Arabia’s minister of state for foreign affairs said on Twitter.

2nd Year of Blockade

On June 5th, 2017, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates announced an air, land and sea blockade against Qatar which has continued till date. The quarter accused Doha of supporting terrorist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood and supporting Iran, which Qatar has consistently been denying. However, the anticipated objectives have not been reached as a result of the blockade and it has in fact pushed Qatar further close to Iran for its imports as the country virtually imports everything.

Read more: The Myth of a “unified Gulf”; Qatar strikes back

Iran has also provided the top airline of the world, Qatar Airways, with alternate aerial routes. Therefore, the signs for the blockade being lifted up are not visible, but Qatar has found alternates for itself already. Eventually, the blockade is likely to see its demise the way the Berlin Blockade backfired for the Soviet Union.

Extension of U.S Approach Toward Iran

Though Iran has been one of the top rivals of the United States since the Islamist revolution of 1979, the hostile attitude of Gulf countries spearheaded by Saudi Arabia is not really the extension of U.S approach, especially in recent years. In this decade, two separate administrations of the United States have sought talks with Iran.

The country has managed to balance its foreign policy, enjoying cordial relations with nearly all the regional and global stakeholders despite being a city-state by its landmass.

While Obama’s administration managed to sign the crucial nuclear deal, even Donald Trump after bashing Barak Obama initially for JCPOA and pushing for escalation has finally realized that except dialogue, all options eventually lead towards an armed conflict. On the other hand, the Gulf relentlessly despises Tehran and not ready to give a shred of leverage to the Shiite state, which is precisely what has been Qatar’s reservation.

Qatar Foreign Policy

The country has managed to balance its foreign policy, enjoying cordial relations with nearly all the regional and global stakeholders despite being a city-state by its landmass. It has managed to keep its ties with the United States of America and its arch-rival Iran at the same time.

Read more: Saudi-led blockade on Qatar not ending anytime soon

Hence, when Saudi Arabia approached Qatar for the Gulf summit, it was initially believed that perhaps Riyadh wants to use Qatar rapport with Iran to push to peace but instead it was asking for Qatar’s endorsement to a stern reply from Unified Gulf. But Qatar decided to stay away from the obvious hostility and continued with its policy of reconciliation.

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