Doha succeeds in defusing Riyadh’s invasion

MNA – Islamic Culture and Relations Organization Deputy Director Abbas Khameyar said Qatar, with its media strength and crisis management, was able to successfully stand up to Saudi Arabian attacks.

Dr. Khameyar made the remarks at a meeting on the crisis in Qatar which convened at the Center for Strategic Studies in the Middle East and investigated causes of the crisis in Qatar and how the Arab state has managed to cope with the issue.

Early into his remarks, the official described qualities and characteristics of Qatar as a small but rich country saying “despite its limited area, Qatar enjoys numerous capacities including gas energy, air bases, media empire as well as a strong economy.

“Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian Islamic theologian based in Doha, is a phenomenon who, with the help of increasing support of the Qatari government, has managed to bring together various Islamic groups over the past two decades adding to Doha’s soft power.

He also referred to academic activities of Qatar and its university townships that operate under supervision of European and American universities as yet another great potential of the Arab country.

Khameyar further noted that Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup saying “massive portable stadiums are currently being built in Qatar which will be donated to poor and African countries after the upcoming tournament.”

He stated that, although Qatar lacks power to producing necessary ideologies, it possesses the potential to reproduce the power through supporting Islamic movements; “Qatar has had a great mediatory role in in all Islamic, Arabic and African movements and has benefited from its economic power and soft power in settling disputes among countries.”

He described US military bases as Qatar’s hard power adding “transfer of US military bases from Saudi Arabia to Qatar marked a significant and meaningful move by the Pentagon in the last decade of the previous century.”

“Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world and it is the largest exporter of gas in the world currently supplying 60 percent of Asia’s gas and 30 percent of the world’s liquid gas.”

He emphasized that Saudi Arabia, which even had no tolerance for women drivers, could not see a small country like Qatar overtake Riyadh. Khameyar underlined that the same issue was the main cause of crisis between Saudi Arabia and Qatar as well as that the only source of convergence between the two had been cooperation on confronting the imaginary threat of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Pointing to recent withdrawal of England from the European Union, the official said Britain, driven by political, economic, military and security necessities, feels the need to return to the region, the Persian Gulf in particular.

He noted that the visit to region by British Prime Minister Theresa May led to a $10-billion contract form rescuing bankrupt British military factories though the figure was negligible as compared to Trump’s $400-billion contract with Saudi Arabia and marked a failure for Britain in competing for arms sales to regional countries.

Islamic Culture and Relations Organization deputy director went on to add that Saudis were celebrating the massive deal with the White House and were after forcing Qatari people to pay a share of the $400billion investment. Nevertheless, Doha preferred to enter a deal with Washington directly and without intermediary.

Referring to Britain and the US meddling with the Qatari crisis and Qatar’s beautiful management and leadership, Khameyar said Qatar, using its soft and diplomatic power and human rights debates successfully managed the crisis and thwarted the threat imposed by Riyadh.

On future and prospects of the Qatari crisis with Saudi Arabia and its allies, the official referred to earlier mediations and said “presently, the crisis has not been resolved yet but has been stopped though it seems unlikely to resolved soon because new Saudi politicians, thirsty of power and wealth, will unfortunately continue to foster crisis in the region.”

The expert in international relations touched upon Tehran-Doha ties explaining that, under these circumstances, self-restraint should be called for and preservation of territorial integrity and the principle of non-interference in the countries’ affairs must be emphasized.

He later criticized Iran’s low share in reconstruction of Qatar; “out of 300 billion dollars of investment in the Arab state, Iran’s share stood at only 300 million dollars in the best condition which is incongruent with age-old relations between the two countries.

At the end of his remarks, Islamic Culture and Relations Organization Deputy Director Abbas Khameyar called for making good use of opportunities concluding “it is important to take advantage of Qatar’s capacity to escape regional crises, especially in Syria and Yemen.”