This crisis, as is known in five countries, includes four countries (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates), in addition to Egypt, which is a member of the Arab League. “The membership of any voluntary membership of the two groups, aligning with their conventions and principles and the main focus of both is to insist on the security of these countries and their territorial integrity. It is a matter of fate concerning the existence of the state itself.
First: in the background of the reasons that led to the emergence of the crisis
The researcher in the causes of this crisis finds that they have reasons for some of the recent past and others related to the present and the most important:
1. Backgrounds of the recent past:
This crisis has not been a surprise for those who follow the course of the GCC. There are entrenched entrances that have been interacting for a period of time that some have appreciated for more than two decades, especially since the White coup in Qatar in 1995, which was not welcomed by the rest of the GCC and other Arab countries.
Where a fundamental shift in the orientations of the State of Qatar has taken place. After being one of the most GCC countries to be guided by the lines of its orientations, the incident occurred in 1992 in which Qatar felt that the Gulf Cooperation Council did not fully assume its responsibilities during the border crisis with Saudi Arabia.
And the growing belief of officials that the target – Gulf – is the marginalization of the role of Qatar, Qatar led the withdrawal of its forces operating under the (shield of the island), and began to adopt some independent positions, and the aim of bullying external parties to balance the weight of Saudi Arabia and concluded five agreements of cooperation withIran,In addition to the signing of an agreement with the United States in 2002 allows the establishment of the largest military base in the US (the base of many), at a time when Saudi Arabia did not welcome such presence on its territory, and this was preceded by another development is the establishment of “Al Jazeera” in 1996, Criticizing the rulers of the countries of the region, which aroused their resentment, and these attitudes and others were linked to Qatar’s desire to play an independent regional role.
Over the past two decades, Qatar has enjoyed a good reputation in the field of mediation to resolve complex regional conflicts, believing that the role of neutral mediator gives it regional influence (such as the solution to the conflict between Eritrea, Yemen, Sudan, Eritrea, etc.)However, there has been a fundamental shift in Qatari diplomacy, from the role of neutral mediator, to a state that has become a party to a number of regional conflicts, especially after the Arab Spring revolutions; in which it found an opportunity to expand its regional influence, for example, In the overthrow of the regime of Colonel Gaddafi, and in Syria adopted the positions of some opposition factions against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, and put pressure to condemn, and freeze the membership of Syria in the League of Arab States, and became a cathedrals And the arrival of power in some Arab countries, especially Egypt, and contributed to these policies and attitudes in creating enemies and friends of Qatar alike.
The rise of the Qatari regional role in this way has created a state of competition for influence between Qatar and several Arab Gulf states, which some have described as a “friendly rival.” However, things did not continue unfortunately in this direction, especially after the adoption of the “Al-Jazeera” Qatar to embrace the forces opposing the Gulf and Arab regimes. Especially after the diplomatic documents leaked by the WikiLeaks site, as well as some American sources, that there is official government control on the channel line directly.
Qatar sought to play a growing regional role, taking advantage of the gradual regression of the roles of many Arab countries, which were pivotal for various reasons, even though they lacked some of the strengths they would qualify for (geographical size, population, military and scientific power, etc.)Except for financial wealth. This has led to the stalling of regional efforts at times, and the resentment of countries in the region at times of the escalation of the country’s ambitious role as such.
2. Weak mechanisms for coordinating positions and policies:
It is known that the GCC does not have supranational powers and makes its decisions unanimously, which is adopted by consensus and consensus among member states. The Council sought to find a mechanism for coordination of external policies and positions, represented in periodic meetings of the Foreign Ministers’ Council, which takes the form of the troika, to ensure coordination of directions as a means of dealing with the outside world in a way that safeguards the interests of Member States. The Gulf is full of tensions and conflicts and the presence of regional powers that do not hide their expansionist ambitions in the region.The commitment of the GCC member states to collective consideration makes it a prestige and an influence in the face of these ambitions. This requires, of course, the need to ensure that member states are connected to the Gulf.
Joint diplomacy usually pays off when it is given the opportunity and time and the elements of its success are available. This is not enough in the case of the GCC. There is still a gap between the collective policies adopted by the Council and those of Member States that are immune to the principle of sovereignty.
3. Variance in Relative Strength Elements:
The GCC is characterized by a clear heterogeneity in the relative strengths of member states. There is a strong force (Saudi Arabia) and two Mediterranean countries (Sultanate of Oman and UAE) and three small countries (Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar).
This means that there is no balance in the distribution of elements of power among the members of the Council, which created competition for regional influence, sometimes exceeding the elements of its power, which led to the obstruction of some of the GCC countries to make decisions that they see in their favor, From attempts to dominate the major power on the decisions of the Council.
The relations between the GCC States have witnessed different types of interactions that have been a mixture of cooperation and struggle. In the estimation of some, there have been limited opportunities to become a bloc at the collective level. It has not reached the institutional level which qualifies it to acquire the necessary effectiveness to enable it to reach relations between Member States The desired level of agglomeration and integration.
4. Escalating the crisis of confidence and reaching a dead end:
The tension between the Gulf Arab states and Qatar has become increasingly high, and the Qatari policies have become a threat to their security. Some GCC countries have cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar for eight months. , Until the Riyadh Agreement was reached in 2014 between the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, which includes consensus on six issues. First: non-interference in the internal affairs of any of the GCC States directly or indirectly,Second: The failure to accommodate any of the citizens of the Council who have activity contrary to the regulations of his state only if they agree, and not support the groups opposing their countries,Third: the lack of support for hostile media,Fourth: Failure to support the Brotherhood or any of the organizations, organizations or individuals that threaten the security and stability of the GCC States through direct security action or by trying to influence the political,Fifth: The failure of any of the GCC countries to provide support to any group in Yemen who pose a threat to the neighboring countries of Yemen. Sixth: Not to prejudice the policy of the GCC countries to support Egypt and contribute to its security and stability and contribute to its economic support and stop all media activities directed against it in all media, directly or indirectly.
However, the four countries (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt) estimated that Qatar had missed the benefits of the Riyadh agreement. For example, it found that Qatar’s role in the Yemeni file was a double role for the parties hostile to the ” The alliance, especially since it had concluded a “defense cooperation document” with Iran in February 2010 and then turned into a framework of “military cooperation” in 2015 and the sixth item on Egypt has not changed the country’s behavior to exhaustion and depletion of Cairo as a strategic ally of the GCC and try to impede the move Egyptian regionally in the resistance of the As well as the damage to the Egyptian regime because of its position on the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have listed as terrorism, while the Qatari territory enjoys hospitality, political, financial and media support, as well as its position on the financing of certain terrorist groups In Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya.
The four countries have strengthened their list of accusations against Qatar with specific documents, facts, persons and entities. A joint statement by the four states confirmed that “the terrorist activities of these entities and individuals are directly or indirectly linked to the Qatari authorities.Four years after the signing of the Riyadh agreement was believed to be sufficient to prove Qatar’s goodwill and implement its commitments. The two sides were supposed to sit on the table to discuss the accusations. But officials in Qatar responded that their requests fall under the “imposition policy” and “prejudice to the sovereignty of the state.”It should be noted that the four countries added to the cut off diplomatic relations “boycotting” Qatar by air and land. This was a surprise for Doha and Qatar felt the geographic location and its implications.At the same time, the four countries were keen to show their willingness to engage in serious and constructive dialogue with Qatar, explaining that the problem is not with the Qatari people,and that the alliance of the four countries is not aimed at changing the Qatari political system or attacking its sovereignty, but rather its main objective is to change Qatar’s policy.
Second: the country’s position on the crisis:
First, the State of Qatar focused on denying all accusations against it without refuting it,and the assertion that the punishment comes because of the exit on the political line of its neighbors, and accused of choosing to invest their time and resources in a propaganda campaign without basis and that all charges against Qatar sent without evidence and represent a blatant interference in its policy, describing the actions taken by the four countries as a blockade, Including the closure of its only land outlet with Saudi Arabia, while the four countries insist that these measures are within the scope of “boycott” and evidenced by the continued freedom of movement to and from Qatar through its airports and seaports.
Qatar expressed its willingness to engage in dialogue with the four countries, provided that it is a dialogue that does not affect its sovereignty, and that the formula for pre-dictating it is not imposed.”It wants to solve this issue diplomatically and through dialogue based on principles that do not violate sovereignty, respect international law, and lead to an agreement that produces collective obligations that are not dictated by any party,” Qatar said.
Qatar has made several efforts to mobilize international and regional actors on its side and to strengthen its positions, for example:
– 1Resort to Washington and urged them to find a way out of the crisis?Tillerson visited Doha? where a memorandum of understanding was signed between Qatar and the United States on the fight against the financing of terrorism. Doha also announced an amendment to its anti-terrorism law,it has been demanded by the four countries for the last four years, but Qatari officials seem to have preferred to sign it with Washington as a testament and in the hope that this would be a step to confirm Qatar’s commitment not to finance terrorism. As part of the expected steps for the Qatari authorities to return on track and that their sanctions on Doha will continue to meet their demands and will continue to monitor Qatar’s efforts to combat terrorism financing to achieve security and stability in the region.
2 – Qatar has also been keen to reactivate its contacts with Iran in the hope of strengthening its positions. Iran, for its part, and Iran’s President Hassan Rowhani stressed their support for their relations with their neighbors, especially the State of Qatar. In this context, Iran has allocated three ports, Bushehr, Bandar Abbas, and Najah for the export of foodstuffs to Qatar, Tasnim Sons Agency in (2017/6/17)
Turkey, in turn, has announced its support for Qatar and not only has sent a number of its soldiers and freely cut into Qatar, which hosts a Turkish base, and conducted joint exercises with the Qatari forces.
3 – Qatar has also applied to specialized international organizations and filed several complaints against them against the actions of the four countries,Such as the International Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), in response to its complaint that these countries are a “blockade” of the State of Qatar in violation of international law.The four States replied that what they had done was a sovereign matter for each country to protect its security, and that the “blockade” was imposed by resolutions of the United Nations. When Qatar began to accuse Saudi Arabia of politicizing the haj pilgrimage, the kingdom began to allow Qatari pilgrims to use the Salwa al-Bari port, and even offered to send Saudi planes to transport and host the Qatari pilgrims at their expense.Although it could have been invested and built upon to open a constructive dialogue between the two sides.
Third, the impact of the crisis on the Gulf Cooperation Council
The majority of the peoples of the GCC countries are cousins, and are linked by close ties, uterine connections, and the families and families in them. They also meet socially with a rope that does not stop for them. As the Gulf writer Mohammed Al-Rumaihi says, In the sea cause, and the continued export of energy to the world. What is the impact of the current crisis on the Council’s cohesion and steadfastness?
It is worth recalling that during the first years of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) faced unplanned and even hostile positions and campaigns against both Arab and non-Arab parties at the level of the Gulf region and the Arab region as a whole and beyond. The perception of this council is far from reality, in the eyes of the neighboring Arab countries and others, which did not belong to its membership, as a “club for the rich” isolates it, or a security or military alliance directed against it or as a group trying to exercise its influence and influence on the countries near and far, The future of political and economic integration, in isolation from the Arab regional system. The Council was able to overcome these unfavorable attitudes and to be a positive mental image of a successful Arab model of the gathering, to be followed, both in its policies and achievements, and financial support to many Arab countries.
If some believe that the Council will withstand this crisis, as it has already faced more severe crises, others see that this time in front of a complex crisis within the Gulf House, generated deep distrust among its members, which is contrary to the basic objectives of the GCC, Especially the support of their security, and conclude that the current crisis and its repercussions may negatively affect the current and future collective action.
While some see current differences as reflecting the differences of one body, including the divergence in security priorities and regional associations, the dictates of geographical proximity and the policies of Member States, which are in essence contradictory to the core objectives of the GCC. The security concern was the main motive for the establishment of this Council, in order to protect its countries from multiple threats and threats. Working against this goal seriously exceeds the usual or normal discrepancies.
The GCC countries have successfully dealt with some of the challenges and security risks that could only be dealt with collectively and through the Council, such as the Iraq-Iran war and the occupation of Saddam’s Iraq and Kuwait, which required the greatest political and security coordination to keep the danger out of its borders.
The current crisis came at a pivotal stage in the most important stages of the economic integration. The Council was supposed to start from the concept of cooperation to a higher level of economic integration, and after the establishment of the foundations, principles and legal systems necessary for the launching of the unified work and the common Gulf market, Such as the treatment of the modes of movement in the member states with one Gulf treatment, the granting of the necessary facilities for the export of goods through transit, the exemption of Gulf products from duties of similar effect, and the opening of the professional field for citizens Member countries in all Gulf markets, allowing GCC citizens to own real estate, engage in retail and wholesale trade, obtain bank loans in each country, and treat ships, vessels and boats uniformly at ports in member states, standardize primary, intermediate and secondary education, Educational documents issued by GCC States, and other integration steps. The current crisis, with its actions to boycott Qatar, will create gaps in the course of these achievements and thus hamper the path of integrated construction.
Any regional or sub-regional gathering whose success depends on the achievement of its objectives depends largely on the goodwill of its members and the political will to support it. The continuation of the current conflict poses a major risk to the geopolitical interdependence of the region and to the future development of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which is linked to the inherent confidence among its members.
The Council’s preoccupation with its internal differences will lead to a decline in its interest in the integration process and its requirements. The Gulf system has become a crisis of acute confidence triggered by the Qatari situation and made Qatar a problematic partner. Created primarily to protect its members from regional external ambitions, the system was “friendly fire”, making the current crisis more painful than the crises of the past.
Qatar’s membership in the GCC is a constituent membership, which requires it and others to take full care of the security of its partners in the Council. Hence the appeal of Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait to the Arab Gulf States to “overcome the current dispute and overcome the recent developments in our Gulf and address and create the atmosphere to resolve the unfortunate differences and bridge the rift with dialogue and communication.He added that the Gulf States have one fate because of historical and family ties, which requires us to maintain the Gulf entity to remain cohesive. It was hoped that the States concerned would respond to that appeal.
Fourth: Observations on the sidelines of the crisis
1. The Arab region has not known a more bloody and tragic decade in terms of the number of dead and the prolongation of the current crisis will make the parties concerned to close the doors of retreat from its policy. If it is correct to say that disengaging from militant organizations may take some time and that the parties and their associated countries may not be able to do so hastily, they are at least required to explain their circumstances and conditions to other countries and reassure them that they are changing policies that need more Time, and they may not be able to make full rotation only gradually. It is hoped that this will happen to open the way for a comprehensive dialogue, reassuring the various parties.
2. We have entered the globalization phase of the war on terror. Hence the importance of the presence of all Gulf States within the wall of collective repudiation of terrorism and terrorists because this will support counter-terrorism efforts.
The student of crisis management in international relations understands that policy review or the so-called “feasibility” of these policies is common and is related to trying to develop them from time to time. We think that the countries of the region are not lacking in thinkers and experts who can properly assess current policies and positions and propose Alternatives.
3. We believe that the real role that Qatar is waiting for in the region is to adopt a strategic policy that will turn its financial potential into a point of radiant light in the heart of the Arab world, for example by contributing to the restoration of war and reconstruction, establishing a major Arab relief organization or establishing an Arab university that attracts scientists Arab expatriates, to contribute to changing the face of the current Arab life and other things possible if there is intent and will, and we will see how Qatar will become the Arab kiss, and expand the circles of influence and the effectiveness of its policies.
4. The question of sovereignty has been raised in more than one position and position, which gives us some clarification as to the concept, powers and development of sovereignty. By joining such collective institutions, States have exercised the principle of sovereignty in their consent to the reduction of their own sovereignty since voluntary accession, which entitles them to rights and obligations that are considered to be a limitation on certain powers of their sovereignty. Such a waiver of sovereignty, if it is a general one for all Member States, is not in fact a restriction, but a “derogation” of the criterion of sovereignty in which all members are equal. In addition, the demand to stop all forms of support for terrorism does not address the issue of sovereignty, but is confined to a security issue at a critical stage in which the countries of the Arab region pass and affect the security of their peoples.
As the era of absolute sovereignty has undergone several variables,the present era is the age of interdependence, and no State can live in isolation from societyInternational.No country can deal alone with global issues, Such as the issues of terrorism, water scarcity, environmental problems, desertification, the judiciary, etc., which means that the national state deals with these issues and others, under the global culture, no matter how sensitive this culture is to sovereignty.The international struggle against terrorism requires modifying the traditional concepts of sovereignty to address its dangers. Cooperation on combating it between sovereign States cannot be achieved,unless they agree to set limits on their behavior and recognize their mutual obligations in this regard. Sovereignty is not absolute. It is conditional. With rights comes duties and obligations.
In addition to the above, there is no winner from this crisis, everyone is a loser, and how much we wish and wish others to return all Gulf countries to the situation of harmony with the Arab environment and maintain their political entanglements informed with him. In other words to take advantage of this crisis by making it an opportunity to reform the same.
5. The last issue remains. Terrorist and extremist groups in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere are on the decline. What is the political return to sticking to a declining position? If it is correct to say that everyone has erred in advocating some of them, turning away from policies proven wrong is a virtue.As well as that the continuation of this crisis for more than three months without appearing in the horizon has no prospects for resolving it, fearing that it will poison relations not only on official level, but can also extend to popular levels.Moreover, the wide circle of accusations at the international level provides an opportunity for foreign powers to intervene in Arab affairs and may distort the mental image of the Arab countries and the Arab people,and enter the Arab region, “the crisis” to further the state of refraction and arrogance will benefit only the enemies of the Arabs.