As the world is now surely aware, on June 5, 2017, some Arab countries elected to sever ties with Qatar. Since then, there have been negotiations between Qatar and these countries to re-establish diplomatic ties. It has emerged that these countries are accusing Qatar of supporting “terror groups” in the war-ravished middle-eastern nation of Syria.
Qatar has strongly refuted these claims. For instance, in an interview with France 24 Arabic on Thursday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Qatar’s Foreign Minister, said that his nation has never supported Jabhat Fateh al-Sham. Jabhat Fateh al-Sham is a terrorist group that was formerly known as al-Nusra Front. He further added that Qatar has always “abided by international laws” and has always played a key role in the international coalition that has been fighting ISIL/ISIS. He went on to say that “Qatar does not support the Nusra Front in Syria … and it does not support any terrorist organisation.”
Based on this interview, it appeared that the Foreign Minister was insinuating that these countries severed ties with Qatar because they wanted to renegotiate diplomatic terms with Qatar with the intention of forcing Qatar to agree to specific conditions. He said that he expects a very long list of demands from said countries, but he stressed that his country would not accept any “foreign dictations” and “rejected discussing any matter related to the Al Jazeera channel as it considered it an internal affair.”
However, the four countries that have severed ties with Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt, appear convinced that Qatar is, in fact, supporting terrorist causes. With that said, they have released a list of nine people and 12 groups with ties to Qatar, who they are alleging have links to “terrorism.” The list includes prominent names and charities that carry out their work all across the Middle East, including in Syria.
The current situation is a very delicate matter. First of all, the Arabic world needs to learn from what is happening in Syria, in terms of how a single event, in spite of being ostensibly innocuous or noble, can lead to a massive ripple effect, such as the Arab Spring. To expand, when one country is discontented with their leader and the ripple effect of this discontent can have the potential to create a hurricane.
Secondly, the severing of ties between these countries will mean that there will be no food supply for the nation that doesn’t grow its own food. While there has been aid from sympathetic countries, one has to imagine that it isn’t the same for the citizens of Qatar. Instead, its citizens are being forced out of these four countries. As a result, uncertainty looms for these people and confusion reigns. Thus, as much as Qatar claims that it has plans for its banks, in the case of a collapse, it is hardly an assurance.
Lastly, if it is indeed proved to be true that Qatar is in fact aiding terror causes in Syria, justice must be served for the souls lost in Syria and those still suffering at the moment. Therefore, the responsible parties must be rooted out and tried. While, this may not be what the suffering masses want, but it will have to be done, as the law must be followed for peace to ensue. In the meantime, while these allegations are just accusations at the moment, the world is waiting for proof.
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