Qatari enthusiasm creates another dispute.
PICS: gulfnews.com and Al Jazeera
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In the first contact three months after the Gulf crisis broke out, the leaders of Qatar and Saudi Arabia spoke over telephone early\ Saturday. These high-level parleys intended to break the ice and explore the avenues for a resolution of the dispute created another one..
However, little did they know that far from solving the tangle, they would be further deepening the vexed issue. The diplomatic ties between the gulf nations are far gone that even the terms of reference have the capacity to create controversial disputes.
That is the typically clubby political environment of the Oil-rich Gulf region or the Middle East to the world. And, even a small step of reconciliation creates another massive controversial standoff.
Sheikh Sabah, Emir of Kuwait is leading the mediation efforts but success has eluded him so far. Not one to give up easily, he met Donald Trump, the President of United States. President Donald Trump.
Trump called a meeting in the White House on Thursday so that he could personally oversee the mediation process. This was the background that culminated with the call being made.
Consequently, a telephone materialized with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani speaking to Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is next in line to the kingdom’s throne.
Mohammed bin Salman was to speak to the other countries who had boycotted Qatar for its patronage to the terror groups. The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) explained that this issue would be sorted out only after wide discussions.
However, the state-run Qatar News Agency took a different line. They presented a differing version that stated that two leaders had agreed to depute their envoys to discuss the dispute.
It was true that Trump spoke with Sheikh Tamim and Crown Prince Mohammed; he also conferred with Abu Dhabi’s powerful crown prince. The Qatar News Agency further stressed that the two leaders agreed to resolve this crisis by sitting down and discussing the issues in the interest of the unity and stability of the Gulf region.
But, this angered the Saudis who immediately published a rebuttal denying any truth in the Qatari news. They lashed out at the Qatari government accusing them of not taking a serious view.
Incensed by this affront, the Saudi leadership decided to suspend further dialogue till they clarified the statements.
The other gulf nations are boycotting Qatar since June 5 since they objected to Qatar’s proximity to Iran. They also accused Qatar of funding terror groups; Qatar denies this allegation.
However, Qatar established full diplomatic relations with Iran, recently.
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Written for: Lars-Magnus Carlsson.
Saturday, September 09, 2017