For more than two months now, the anti-terror quartet of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt have isolated Qatar and presented it with a list of 13 preventative and restorative conditions over Doha’s consistent aiding and abetting of terrorist organisations and individuals who spread extremism, sedition and unrest.
The measures are aimed at making sure Qatar ceases its disruptive, damaging and dangerous activities, and making sure that Doha recommits itself to the principles of the global fight against terrorism and lives up to its repeated promises at Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) meetings in Riyadh in 2013 and 2014
This standoff is one that is necessary, and the cutting of direct diplomatic ties between the quartet and Qatar, along with the shutting of the four nations’ air and sea spaces to Qatari aircraft and vessels, are essential to press Doha that the quartet and its allies have had enough.
For too long, Qatar has thumbed its nose at the GCC and others involved in the fight against terror and extremism. And for too long, Qatar has promised that it will change its ways. Quite frankly, it hasn’t — and the 13 measures required of Doha by the quartet are the bare minimum necessary to end this chapter.
The United States and others have dispatched emissaries to the Gulf to try and defuse this standoff and these efforts are appreciated. However, what would be appreciated even more is the Government of Qatar taking meaningful and verifiable steps towards meeting the 13 measures.
Those who are attempting to assist at this time of diplomatic tension, should bear in mind that these 13 measures are the minimum required of Doha. They are not divisible, cannot be negotiated, cannot be watered down.
Last month, Qatar responded to these 13 measures during the quartet’s foreign ministers meeting in Cairo. But Doha fell far short of meeting these measures, and it has failed since then to make any reasonable accommodation or to change its ways in supporting and giving voice to those who use terror and extremism for their own evil and political ends.
Qatar — and every other party attempting to bring this chapter to a conclusion — must not mistake the resolve of the quartet in bringing Doha to heel. For too long, Qatar has made false promises to the GCC and others while going about its seditious business as usual. Enough is enough — the 13 measures must be met. And Qatar’s actions must speak far louder than its empty words.