Dubai: The path is clear. So wrote His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in the title of an epic poem he penned and published on his official Instagram account urging Qatar to “return to the GCC fold”.
The verses, titled in Arabic as “Al Dharb Wadeh”, bear powerful lines from the Dubai Ruler, a prolific poet and renowned for his Nabati verses.
The poem, posted late on Wednesday, urges Qatar to abandon its independent foreign policy and return to the Gulf fold.
“Of one origin, people, existence/one flesh and blood, one land and faith,” he wrote. “Yet Qatar turns to the nearby stranger, to the weak,” he added, alluding to Doha’s refusal to join the Riyadh-led boycott of Tehran.
“Now is the time to unite, one heart/to protect one another beyond hate.”
The poem garnered more than 80,000 likes overnight.
The verses also stress that the noble stance the UAE has towards its neighbours means that it is — and always will be — its neighbours’ champion.
He also advised Doha to return to the Arab fold and seriously adopt a clear path under the GCC’s umbrella. "We will keep advising Qatar openly in line with the instructions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), when he said in a prophetic Hadith (saying): A wolf eats only an out-of-the-way sheep."
الدَّربْ واضحْ ---- ---- ولــكــلْ شَــــيٍّ لــــوُ تــفـكِّـرْ أوانـــي والـجِـدْ يــا أهــلْ الـجِـدْ هــذا أوانِــهْ وآحِـــسْ أنِّ الــوقـتْ يـكـفـي وحـــانِ والــشَّـرْ نـسـعـىَ كـلِّـنـا فــي دفـانـهْ ونـرجـعْ إلــىَ وحــدَةْ قـلـوبْ ومـعاني نـحـمي بـعـضنا دونْ حـقدْ وضـغانهْ مـــــنْ الـسـعـوديـهْ لــديــرةْ عــمـانـي مـــعْ دولـتـي لــي هـيـهْ لـلـعقدْ دانــهْ وبـحـريـنـنا ويَّــــا قــطـرْ وآل ثــانـي خـلـيـجْ واحـــدْ يـصـلحْ الــرَّبْ شـانـهْ وقــالـوا عَـرَبـنـا مـــنْ قـديـمْ الـزِّمـانِ قــبــلْ الــرِّمـايـهْ يــتـرسـونْ الـكـنـانهْ وتــأبَـىَ الــرِّمـاحْ الـعـالـياتْ الــلِّـدانِ أنْ تـنـكـسرْ مـتـجـمِّعهْ بــذاتْ خـانـهْ وإذا إتِّــفَـرَّقْ تـنـكـسرْ فـــي ثـوانـي ولا يــنـفَـعْ الــرِّمـحْ الـمِـكَـسَّرْ سـنـانـهْ لـــــوُ تــتــركـونْ الـمـرجـفـينْ بــمـكـانِ ونـحـنْ لـكُمْ أقـرَبْ مـنْ أهـلْ الـرِّطانهْ ومــا فـي الـمزايَدْ خـيرْ يـرجيهْ عـاني وكــلْ وقــت تـدري لـهْ صـلاتهْ وأذانِـهْ ومــاهــيــهْ بــالــقــوَّهْ ولا بــالأمــانـي ومـهـما إخـتـلفنا جـارنـا فــي أمـانـهْ نــاخـذْ ونـعـطـي وبـالـتِّـحاورْ يـبـاني الــحــقْ ظــاهـرْ مـايـبـا لـــهْ فـطـانـهْ والـــدَّربْ واضـــحْ مـنـهجهْ بـالـعياني والــبــابْ مــفـتـوحٍ ومــحــدَّدْ مـكـانـهْ ودربٍ إلــىَ الـرحـمنْ خـيـرْ وجـنـاني أحسَنْ منْ الشِّيطانْ وأهلْ الشِّطانِهْ وإنْ مـابـغـيـتـوا دربــنــا بـإمـتـنـاني فــكــلْ واحـــدْ لـــهْ طـريـجـهْ وشــانـهْ
“Staying within the GCC umbrella is the only way to safeguard Qatar from the fangs of wolves”, Shaikh Mohammad wrote.
Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed all ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting extremist groups.
Last week, Riyadh laid down a list of 13 “non-negotiable” demands for Doha, including ending its support for the Muslim Brotherhood, the closure of Al Jazeera television, a downgrade of diplomatic ties with Iran and the shutdown of a Turkish military base in the country.
The UAE ambassador to Russia Omar Ghobash warned in comments published by Britain’s Guardian on Tuesday that Qatar could face further sanctions if it failed to meet the demands.
The poem comes along with a photo of Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
In the poem, he called Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed the best brother and supporter.
He said they were each other's heart and soul and stood together to preserve the country, protect the Emirati people and ward off aggression.
Door of dialogue open
The Dubai Ruler also reaffirmed that the doors of dialogue are still open, saying: "whatever the differences, our neighbour shall always be safe".
Shaikh Mohammad emphasised that unity is the only guarantee and immunity to protect the GCC nations.
Meanwhile, diplomatic contacts continued in the region and abroad around the Qatari crisis.
In Washington, several Arab Gulf officials met with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Tillerson met both Qatari Foreign Minister Shaikh Mohammad Bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, and Kuwait Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Shaikh Mohammad Abdullah Al Sabah, whose country has taken on the official role of mediator in the Gulf dispute.
After meeting Al Sabah, Tillerson pledged his support for its lead in talks. According to media reports of the Kuwait-American meeting, both parties “reaffirmed the need for all parties to exercise restraint to allow for productive diplomatic discussions”.
US Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert, said: “We continue to call on those countries to work together and work this out.”
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir, also in Washington, stressed in a tweet that “our demands on Qatar are non-negotiable. It’s now up to Qatar to end its support for extremism and terrorism”.