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 Relations between India and Peru  are united by El Niño and the monsoon yet separated by vast distances across oceans.  Jorge Castaneda, Ambassador of Peru to India, talks to INDIA REVIEW & ANALYSIS exclusively about what is bringing the two geographically-apart countries closer.
 
read-more
Indian judge Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected to the International Court of Justice on Monday as the UN General Assembly rallied behind him in a show of force that made Britain  bow to the majority and withdraw its candidate.
 
read-more
Those with a resolve make a big difference to the society. They inspire others to make the best out of a bad situation, steer out of morass with fortitude. Insha Mushtaq, the teenage girl who was pelleted to complete blindness during 2016 emerged as a classic example of courage.
 
read-more
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Sunday said India and China have "great potential" and they could work together at a "practical level".
 
read-more
This week a major United Nations gathering on climate change gets underway in Bonn, Germany.
 
read-more

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's efforts to build India's global appeal for investors seem to have finally yielded returns in terms of the country's performance in the World Bank&rsquo...

 
read-more
Column-image

Title: The People Next Door -The Curious History of India-Pakistan Relations; Author: T.C.A. Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins ; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 699

 
Column-image

Could the North Korean nuclear issue which is giving the world an anxious time due to presence of hotheads on each side, the invasion of Iraq and its toxic fallout, and above all, the arms race in the teeming but impoverished South Asian subcon...

 
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.