FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Qatar crisis: mending the rift
Posted:Jun 26, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
The fact that Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have handed over a list of demands to the Qatari regime should, on the face of it, indicate some progress in the impasse created after they cut ties with Qatar. The list has not been officially released, but is reported to include demands that Qatar snap all but trade ties with Iran, end military cooperation with Turkey and shut down the Al Jazeera news network.
 
 It may be that many of the demands are only meant to be bargaining counters — even U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has been running the backroom negotiation along with the Emir of Kuwait, said they are “very difficult for Qatar to meet”. In any case, such demands on the list may be more understandable if these countries complied with them as well. For example, in asking Qatar to disown ties with al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE cannot ignore their own role in building up Sunni extremist groups across West Asia, sometimes in partnership with Qatar. The UAE has a thriving business relationship with Iran.
 
 And while the Saudi-led bloc may object to “negative narratives” and the platform given to their dissidents on Al Jazeera and the other news outlets named, it is unlikely that they will lean too much on the internationally recognised news networks to close shop. The bulk of the demands, however, focusses on asking Qatar to enforce its own commitments from the 2014 Riyadh declaration of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on ceasing support to extremist and terrorist groups. This indicates that a path is being cleared for a resolution to the current crisis. The next few days will be crucial in ensuring the outcome. 
 
There are implications of this crisis that India and the international community cannot afford to ignore. While the action against Qatar is mainly political and nowhere close to the Saudi-led action on Yemen, where more than 10,000 people have already been killed, in both cases the muscle power of the regional bullies has been allowed to prevail over a weaker nation. The treatment of Qatar could well become the playbook for future diplomacy, which would lead to a further weakening of the international order, the rule of law and the UN system of conflict resolution. 
 
There are also signs that this may be the precursor to a larger conflict with Iran. This is a troubling scenario for the world, and for India in particular with its commitment to build connectivity and shore up oil reserves. The impact of any conflict in the Gulf cannot be over-estimated, given India’s dependence on oil supplies and remittances from some eight million Indians based there. For New Delhi to continue to be as sanguine about the Qatar crisis as it appeared to be a few weeks ago, when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called it an “internal matter” of the GCC, is no longer an option.
 
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Ties between India and Japan are probably at their best ever, Japanese Ambassador to India H.E. Kenji Hiramatsu told India Review & Analysis’ Nilova Roy Chaudhury, as he outlined how the two countries have moved closer. Ahead of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit
 
read-more
India's External Affairs Minister met with Prime Ministers Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh and Tshering Tobgay of Bhutan and five foreign ministers on September 19 in interactions that mostly focused on bilateral issues.
 
read-more
That regional cooperation in South Asia is lower than optimal levels is well accepted. It is usually ascribed to – the asymmetry in size between India and the rest, conflicts and historical political tensions, a trust deficit, limited transport connectivity, and onerous logistics, among many other factors.
 
read-more
Former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan said ‘In order to become a more developed country, India has to get people who owe taxes to actually pay them.’ This is one of the major objectives that Modi sought to achieve though demonetization and he has largely succeeded.
 
read-more
The two-day visit to Kashmir by a Congress team headed by Dr Manmohan Singh team has called for restoration  of the dialogue with the separatists to address the ongoing turmoil in the state.
 
read-more
The Communist Party of China (CPC) is expected to amend its constitution at the upcoming national congress.
 
read-more
Médecins Sans Frontiéres (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders has urged Myanmar to grant international humanitarian organisations unrestricted and independent access to the conflict-torn Rakhine state to enable provision of humanitarian assistance to the hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people.
 
read-more
US President Donald Trump dubbed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "rocket man" when speaking to his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in by phone on Sunday, and then posted the nickname on Twitter. Such mockery may have an adverse impact on solving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.
 
read-more
It is a privilege to be invited to this most prestigious of law schools in the country, more so for someone not formally lettered in the discipline of law. I thank the Director and the faculty for this honour.
 
read-more
Column-image

Title: A Bonsai Tree; Author: Narendra Luther; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 227 Many books have been written on India's partition but here is a firsthand account of the horror by a migrant from what is now Pakistan, who ...

 
Column-image

As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
Column-image

This is the continuing amazing spiritual journey of a Muslim man from Kerala who plunged into Vedic religion after a chance encounter with a Hindu mystic under a jackfruit tree in the backyard of his house when he was just nine. It is a story w...

 
Column-image

History is told by the victors but in our modern age, even contemporary events get - or are given - a slant, where some contributors soon get eclipsed from the narrative or their images tarnished.

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive