On 27 August 2014, a high-ranking Saudi delegation arrived in Doha consisting of Prince Saud Al Faisal, Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, the President of the General Intelligence, and the Interior Minister Prince Muhammad Bin Naif. The Qatari political leadership warmly welcomed the delegation, and they met with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and the high officials of the Qatari government. Talks focused on enhancing and strengthening ties between the two countries, as well as the issues in the Gulf and the Arab region. Photographs published by the media of the visiting delegation and the Qatari leadership having lunch indicate that the storm clouds that were clouding the atmosphere between the two countries are disappearing, never to return.
Very close sources in Saudi Arabia noted that this delegation was formed on the orders of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Al-Saud, who instructed the high-level delegation to end the Gulf-Gulf conflicts as quickly as possible and restore relations between all of the parties to the way they were before the Saudi, Bahraini, and Emirati ambassadors were recalled on 5 March 2014. This is an example of the wisdom of kings, but will the other parties accept the wisdom of King Abdullah and the notion that what we are all facing is bigger and more dangerous than what we are disputing over in the GCC?
The move came on the eve of the periodic meeting of the GCC Ministerial Council in Riyadh. This meeting comes at a time of special circumstances, as the affairs of the Gulf in particular, and the Arab world in general, are not as they should be. The Gulf-Gulf relations are turbulent, reaching all the way to North Africa and the Gaza Strip, while the situation in the Arab world is frightening. Arab awareness is absent with the absence of the historical leaders of this nation, which has led us to the state of unrest and strife we are currently experiencing. The Gulf ministerial meeting is, as usual, held before the convening of the Arab Ministerial Council in Cairo in preparation for attending the regular UN General Assembly meeting so the Arab Gulf countries can form a united position regarding the issues proposed on the Arab League and the General Assembly agendas.
We are hopeful that the intra-Gulf issues are overcome as a result of the high-level Saudi measures, but the devils of the Gulf media outlets are spiteful against one country or the other and they work on deepening the differences between the ruling elites by means of words. Others want to please a political government in one country or another, so they sharpen their pens and tongues in order to undermine a country’s system that is at odds with another Gulf country. The third type of journalists are those who aim for fame and want to find themselves on the boards of governors, but even if they did find themselves a place, they remain outcasts.
Therefore I pray, with all my heart, that all those who write in the GCC help our leaders out of the crisis we are living through at the moment by providing constructive feedback rather than provoking hatred and pitting our leaders against each other. Your jobs are based on faith, and even those who are in this field for the fame or in an attempt to gain a position must fulfil their duty and remain faithful, otherwise they are ignorant and unjust.
Zionist media outlets all agree that Qatar appointed and funded Hamas in its war against Israel, and it is a great honour for the state of Qatar to stand by and support the Palestinian people besieged by both the current ruling government in Egypt and Israel. It is an honour for Qatar to be accused of politically fighting and demanding the Palestinian people obtain their legitimate rights. The truth is that Qatar’s government and people supported the Palestinian resistance in Gaza on every level, politically, financially, and in the media, unlike most of the GCC countries, in particular the Arab states who have not yet experienced the winds of change and chaos, particularly Algeria and Morocco.
In Israel, the Zionist Likud party is preparing a draft bill for the Knesset that declares Qatar an enemy state of Israel. This is a great honour and a reputation we as Qataris cherish because we are not allies or friends of Israel. Israel’s representative in the United Nations is working with the Israeli lobby to issue a Security Council resolution that states Qatar is a terrorism-funding state; do the enemies of Qatar, who say we are a strategic partner with Israel working against Arab interests, need a more honest testament by the Zionists extremists to disprove this?
It is ironic that Israel is calling for Al-Jazeera in Qatar to be shut down because it exposed the crimes it committed against humanity during its war on Gaza. Yet at the same time some Arab leaders are calling for the same demands. Neither party can handle the truth.
The German government made a formal apology for accusing the State of Qatar of funding the Islamic State (IS) in a statement issued by the Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Muller. In addition to this, on 19 August 2014, the US State Department spokesperson denied the accusations made against Qatar of funding terrorism and praised its role in the efforts to end the war on Gaza. The popular newspaper The Washington Post also commended Qatar’s efforts and the use of its prestigious position among all the national political movements in the region to do good deeds, the most recent of such acts was the release of American journalist Peter Theo Curtis this week.
I conclude by saying that there is a malicious minority in the Arab sky, cooperating with individuals who pose no ethics or values, who are trying to undermine Qatar and its position. However, our spirits are lifted and the civilised world is praising the role played by our wise leadership, as stated above. Is there an end? Tomorrow is only a day away…
Translated from Al Sharq, 29 August, 2014
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.