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GCC Summit in Kuwait Survived, Unlike Doha

GCC Summit in Kuwait Survived, Unlike Doha

Wednesday, 6 December, 2017 - 14:15
Abdulrahman Al-Rashed
Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad.

Emir of Qatar could not hide his awkward position when he sat, for the first time since the conflict broke out, facing the ministers of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain despite the fake smiles that were seen in the GCC summit session among the delegations.

What is between Qatar and these states more than a disagreement, it is an outright hostility.

One day before convening the Kuwait summit, Qatar proved this hostility by supporting the Houthis in their war against Yemenis and Saudi Arabia.

On Monday, Qatar supported the killing of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh because he joined Saudi-led coalition. The most bizarre situation in the history of the GCC summits since its establishment in 1981.

However, as a mark of respect for Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, the three countries did not boycott the GCC summit in Kuwait, although their stance during the past weeks was clearly against sitting with Qatar, which violated the council’s charters and overturned its commitments to Riyadh, witnessed by the Emir of Kuwait himself.

The symbolic presence on Tuesday was a clear message that the summit is the only joint political action between the boycotting countries and Qatar, and it may not happen again.

The summit survived despite the boycotting of all ties with Qatar and the GCC avoided a total collapse.

Qatar’s continued membership in the GCC and the meeting of the four rival states in the summit, which was the shortest in the history of the GCC summits, could deliver wrong messages, such as that the dispute has become less, which is not true, and that the demands can be overcome, which is also not true.

Doha’s government, which has been promoting in its media that the holding of the summit and Qatar’s presence is a victory, supports the boycotting countries’ point of view, that Qatar has not changed, it will not change and there is no reason for reconciliation with it, giving the right for these countries to continue their boycott.

Since the beginning of the dispute, the government in Doha has shown no decline in its hostile activities against the four countries: Egypt and the three Gulf states.

It has been active in Yemen through funding, recruiting, and providing propaganda for the Houthis responsible for bombing and killing of Saudis inside their country.

It is important to understand the picture as it looks. Qatar is a partner in the war and aggression in Yemen, which makes its continuation in the GCC contrary to the foundations on which it was based.

Its behavior has grown more conspiratorial as it continues to support the opposition and anti-Riyadh forces in their acts against the other three countries.

Qatar’s anti-coalition activity in Yemen will prolong the dispute and may even worsen it. If Doha’s leadership believes that using the tactic of the war in Yemen to support the enemies of Saudi Arabia in order to put pressure on the Kingdom, then it is committing a more serious mistake.

Since it is provoking its adversaries to respond more harshly than just the boycott, which is the only weapon they have used against it so far.

The killing of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is an escalation that will not dissuade the coalition members from continuing the war, and destroying Iran and Qatar’s agent in Yemen, the Houthi militias.

These states consider the alliance with the Houthis similar to the alliance with banned terrorist organizations, such as al-Qaeda and ISIS, which justifies prosecuting supporting governments.

On Tuesday, the Kuwait summit ended quickly and Sheikh Sabah succeeded in rescuing the GCC from collapsing. However, even the 50-minute summit almost was not going to be convened because of Doha’s provocative propaganda that preceded the meeting a week ago.

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