On Sunday, the four Arab countries who had smeared ties with Qatar with allegations of nurturing extremist groups – have finally declared that they are ready for dialogue with Qatar, but only if the State agrees to show willingness in dealing with their demands.
This has been a long story and probably one of the longest and most serious Gulf frontier dispute in decades – the Qatar crisis. We have covered the entire event in detail, but if you are unaware then, here, in a nutshell – four Arab countries: Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt had cut off all ties with Qatar on June 5th with accusations that the oil-rich gulf state is supporting terrorism and extremist groups, relations with Shia nation Iran and international business related acquisition. There has been ups and downs, there was hope and dismay, there were proposals and rejections, international intervention from countries like Kuwait, Turkey, US and China to resolve the crisis; but nothing had really stirred up, at least not from outside.
Until recently, Qatar had showed willingness to make talks with the four GCC countries and solve the dispute by fulfilling the demands as long as Qatar’s sovereignty is honoured. The latest progress though is that on Sunday, the four Arab countries are ready for talks to tackle the dispute if Doha showed willingness to deal with their demands. This came right after the foreign ministers of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates met at Manama to discuss the tension raised by Qatar crisis in the Arabian Sea.
Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, Bahrain’s foreign minister stated on Sunday that, “The four countries are ready for dialogue with Qatar with the condition that it announces its sincere willingness to stop funding terrorism and extremism and its commitment to not interfere in other countries’ foreign affairs and respond to the 13 demands.” Ah, the hitch – ‘13 demands‘. This is the only downfall in the entire ready-to-talk-it-out idea of four nations because as per Qatar authorities, the 13 demands violate the state’s international policies and will infringe and jeopardize its sovereignty and yet the Arab nations are sticking with it! Let’s just hope for the best and wonder if the Qatar crisis can be de-tangled.