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Arab plunges Qatar ‘directly into Iran and Turkey’s hands’, says report

Courtesy: Al Jazeera, source (Reuters)

Doha: The four Arab nations’ economic and political blockade of Qatar is considered as a misstep taken. Which is plunging Qatar directly into the hands of Iran and Turkey, a leading foreign policy magazine published by the US-based Council on Foreign Relations said.

Foreign Affairs magazine further said, many of their demands “were based on false premises”.
“The blockade is unlikely to result in Qatar returning to the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] fold. Rather, it will essentially affirm that the new leadership in Saudi Arabia has a penchant for overplaying its hand,” Bassima Alghussein and Jeffrey A Stacey wrote in the article, Al Jazeera reports.

With closed air and sea routes of these Arab nations to Qatar, Turkey and Iran are providing Doha with all its amenities as well as with the luxury goods.

Read more: Qatar still in luxury despite month-long Arab’s blockade

“In addition to Saudi Arabia driving Qatar closer to Iran, its behaviour has weakened the GCC – a body that is fundamental for regional stability and commerce,” the report adds.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain accused Qatar of supporting the extremist groups, which Qatar has repeatedly declined. On June 22, these four nations issued a 13-point list of demands, including the shutdown of the Doha-based Al Jazeera network, limiting ties with Iran and expelling Turkish troops stationed in the country, as a prerequisite to lifting the sanctions.

However, Doha refused to accept the list of demands.

Kuwait’s Emir Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah is currently trying to mediate the dispute. Foreign diplomats, including US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, have visited the region and held talks with officials from the affected countries.

No signs of dispute getting resolved soon:

The foreign article further says that there are no prospects to be seen for getting the dispute resolved in the near future. “Because Qatar complied with none of the GCC’s demands, the Gambit’s lack of coherence is being laid bare. Without a plan B, immediate escalation is unlikely to transpire. Instead, it is probable that both sides will go forward for the time being in a state of mutual diplomatic paralysis,” the article reads.

The blockading countries demanded Qatar to cut its ties with Iran, whereas UAE continues its relationships with Tehran. The article further points out the UAE’s relationship with Iran is tolerated because the Emirates, by and large, do not challenge Saudi predominance in the region. Conversely, Qatar is viewed as having outsized ambitions and is perceived to regularly undermine Saudi predominance.

Qatar has clarified that it will not change its foreign policy but they are open to resolving the issue over bilateral talks.