zondag 23 juli 2017

Saudi-Led Coalition Replaces Its 13 Demands With 6 Principles

In a televised address on Friday, Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani referred the four Arab countries enforcing the blockade as perpetrators: "The perpetrators have undermined our sovereignty and independence by fabricating false statements to mislead international public opinion. We are open to dialogue to resolve the outstanding problems so long as Qatar's sovereignty is respected." Saudi Arabia has always said that its 13 demands were non-negotiable, but last week the Saudi-led coalition did appear to be softening its demands for resolving the crisis, when it announced that it was replacing the 13 specific demands with six broad principles. According to a Saudi analyst, "I don't see this as a softening of the quartet's position on Qatar per se, as much as a measure taken to restart the negotiation process. These six principles are best viewed as an effort to set the foundation for meaningful negotiation process." The six principles are:
1. Commitment to combat extremism and terrorism in all its forms and to prevent their financing or the provision of safe havens.
2. Prohibiting all acts of incitement and all forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify hatred and violence.
3. Full commitment to Riyadh Agreement 2013 and the supplementary agreement and its executive mechanism for 2014 within the framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for Arab States. 
4. Commitment to all the outcomes of the Arab-Islamic-US Summit held in Riyadh in May 2017.
5. To refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of States and from supporting illegal entities.
6. The responsibility of all States of international community to confront all forms of extremism and terrorism as a threat to international peace and security.
These extremely vague do provide a possible basis for compromise, but it's hard to see how anything will change in the long run. Qatar is going to continue to broadcast al-Jazeera, which is going to continue to air speakers from the Muslim Brotherhood, which Qatar supports, but which the four boycotting nations consider to be terrorists, who are on al-Jazeera advocating the overthrow of their governments. This is a core difference between Qatar and the four nations, and it won't be resolved. And if it's papered over, it will become an issue again soon.... Al Jazeera (Qatar)The National (UAE) and BBC