It is important to note that the elements of the siege that is being carried out by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain against the State of Qatar are a manifestation of a dangerous development during the current century.
Among the other pages of this history book is of course the siege against Qatar, Egypt’s decision to give Saudi Arabia two of its islands, the Israeli aggressions towards Gaza as well as the numerous operations it has carried out in the Sinai Peninsula in an effort to snuff out the Palestinian cause and all of its issues.
This history book is full of pages that recount many an issue such as the ones mentioned above. They are pages that tell the history of one region. A number of these developments could be named the “Second Sykes-Picot agreement”, as they seek to advance Zionist and Western agendas.
The joint Zionist-Western interests would be achieved through a re-demarcation of the region’s current map in a way that would prove beneficial to the latter parties. The case against Qatar began as a list of complaints and later turned into a list of demands. These demands were later transformed into a dangerous campaign that seeks to place Qatar in a bind.
A look at the map sheds light on the intricacies of these demands. Qatari journalists have stated that a deadline has been by which the demands must be met in order for the siege to come to an end. Yet, a maximum time limit has not been implemented for the siege before the state of war begins and diplomatic relations suffer from the implementation of the air, land and sea blockade, which has negatively impacted the movement and basic human rights of the residents and citizens of Qatar.
The siege has also negatively impacted the citizens of the surrounding GCC countries who have no interest in fuelling the conflict. It is important for us to note in this instance that the list of demands set forth by the GCC have no basis. The conversation has been shifted to the presence of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in Doha, though many of us know that this is merely a false accusation that is part of a campaign of accusations attempting to ruin Qatar’s reputation in the region and in the media. The goal at hand is to accuse Qatar of sponsoring and supporting terrorism and to divide the GCC/Gulf street by claiming that Qatar has fostered relations with Iran.
With regards to the demand that Qatar sever relations with Iran, excluding trade relations of course, we instead call on all the countries responsible for the embargo to cut off trade relations with Iran. This is a strange and selective demonstration of promoting some relations but not others. It is inconsistent. With the strict embargo imposed on Qatar, a majority of the foreign trade relations have been taken on by the UAE. One can notice the strange contradiction in this list of demands, then, with regards to asking Qatar to limit the nature of its trade relations with Iran.
One must also note that the countries responsible for the embargo have also demanded an end to Qatar’s relations with Turkey. This constitutes the termination of the Turkey’s military presence in Qatar as well as the closure of its air base. It is not a coincidence that the GCC embargo demands the closure of the Turkish base but says little or nothing regarding the American, French, or British bases in Qatar.
There are also demands that are related to the media. By seeking to implement a new geo-political reality, the countries responsible for the embargo have begun to target media outlets. News channels such as Al-Arabiya (Saudi-based) and Sky News (Emirates) have begun their campaigns against Qatar, promoting division. The embargo states have targeted the Al Jazeera network deliberately and have demanded the closure of the station as a condition for bringing an end to the embargo. These states need to shut their mouths as they know nothing of the true meaning of freedom of the press. Its policy of silencing voices is a direct blow to the people’s right to self-expression. For this reason, the international community and its institutions must denounce the embargo states’ call as it is absurd.
What the countries of the blockade have done is implement an unjust siege, forcing citizens to wake up to the decisions that were made overnight. This holds especially true for the economic effects of the siege. And yet, ironically, these states demand a list of conditions from Qatar without the slightest consideration for the damage they have caused by this unjust blockade and the harm they have inflicted on individuals by restricting their movement.
The embargo is absurd and the conditions set forth by the summit impedes on the sovereignty of an independent state. The time limit set to meet this list of demands exposes the flawed logic of political thinking. The political practice at hand is not based on logic or evidence; rather it is based on slander and narrow interpretations. These countries do not know the path towards dialogue or negotiation.
Translated from Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, 30 June 2017.