A British researcher has downplayed the significance of measures imposed on Qatar, the official Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported on Sunday. According to Celina McMaster, the government has “absorbed” the initial shock of the boycott.
“The measures taken against Qatar will not have an impact in the short term, in light of reassurances from the Qatari government on its ability to deal with shocks,” explained the researcher in Middle East affairs at the University of Westminster. “The boycott is not affecting the Gulf State because it is capable of obtain food without relying on the Saudi border.”
McMaster praised Qatari diplomacy for its vibrancy in strengthening diplomatic ties with other partners, including Turkey. The Qatari response to the boycott, she noted, was “calm” as the government announced that it would not expel any citizens of the countries which have severed diplomatic and economic ties with Doha. She stressed that this serves the goal of reinstating such ties and reflects good intentions on the part of the Qataris. Issuing a blacklist and asking Qatar to respond to it, the researcher insisted, is a clear violation of sovereignty of the country.
Described the US position as “confused”, McMaster said that President Donald Trump’s remarks contradicted those made by his Secretary of State regarding the crisis.
The QNA pointed out that the position of the British government regarding the crisis is similar to that of other European countries. A foreign office spokesman for the Middle East and North Africa, Edwin Samuel, expressed Britain’s hope that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) can regain its unity soon and reach a resolution in the near future. He added that it is in Britain’s interests for the GCC members to resolve their differences in order for all sides to face future challenges together.
In Berlin, meanwhile, German Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel called for an end to the blockade of Qatar, describing it as unacceptable. He added that Germany had strong interests in resolving the crisis peacefully, reported QNA. This view was echoed by the French foreign ministry’s call for the crisis to be resolved through dialogue. A spokesman confirmed that the government in Paris will discuss the issue with regional players in a bid to end the dispute.