The conflict between the Arab quartet (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, and Egypt) at one side and Qatar on the other side, is escalating. No glimpse of hope looms in the horizon that a soon solution is going to take place. Yet the Kuwaiti mediation continues with foreign back up and appeals from London and Washington to further activate diplomacy and thus ease the tension.
After the ten-day ultimatum ended, the four countries accepted to extend the time for 48 hours upon the Kuwaiti mediation, yet the 13-condition list by the quartet was not positively answered by Qatar. Doha considered the conditions list as sovereignty compromising and cannot be accepted.
The Four countries, being very upset by Doha negative response, met in Cairo to study the situation and issued a harsh statement against Doha; however, they said their measures and proposed sanctions would not breach the international law and hoped that Doha understands the gravity of the situation and the seriousness of the matter and thus comply.
The statement came after a meeting by foreign ministers from the four nations. They did not say what further measures they may take, but assured they would continue consultations and that they would meet in Bahrain for this purpose without setting a definite date.
However, some of the rhetoric was very harsh, especially the one coming from Emirati foreign minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan who said Qatar was only interested in “destruction, incitement, extremism and terrorism,” rather than in good neighborly relations.
Qatar’s answer to the conditions was not made public, but it had recently dubbed the demands, which call to lowering relations with Iran, shutting down Al-Jazeera satellite news network, closing a Turkish military base and paying restitution, an affront to its sovereignty.
.Till now, Qatar has not bowed down or stepped back under the continuous pressure and escalating threats.
Now, where all this would lead to?
Some Arab media outlets have suggested a military confrontation or a change of leadership in Qatar could be in the offing, but other official sources said those options are totally unlikely and not possible.
Qatar hosts some 10,000 US troops at Al- Udeid Air base, the largest in the region and one of the biggest in the world. Washington has no interest to see any change in the leadership and would not sanction any military action against Doha.
Another factor which acts as a detriment against Riyadh’s ambition is the Turkish military presence in Qatar. Any military invasion or intervention by Saudi Arabia would necessarily lead to a wider confrontation, that no one wants it to happen at this stage.
As such, the anticipated developments are not likely to be military ones, as both parties, the quartet and Qatar deeply understand the fine balance of the equation. Qatar is emerging more defiant and emboldened after successfully absorbing the shock, while the blockade and sanctions policy by Saudi Arabia and its allies dos not yield any success. This means the prolongation of the crisis with ups and downs and a more heightened rhetoric as well as threats that would not lead anywhere. The Western allies would step Later for mediation, but they would not mind the prolongation of the conflict as long as it is under control and boiling down to their interests. The only truth about what is happening is that Saudi Arabia is losing its credibility more and more, along with all those who supported its policies in the whole region.
Source: Al-Manar Website