Opinion\From the Press

Qatar crisis will slowly subside

China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-29 07:24

Saudi Arabia and its allies recently issued a 13-point ultimatum to Qatar, which included the demands it close a Turkish military base in Doha, shut down the Al Jazeera TV channel and curb ties with Iran, as the precondition for suspending a weeks-long trade and diplomatic embargo on the small nation. Qatar was told to comply with the demands within 10 days or face unspecified consequences.

The threatening ultimatum has escalated the worst diplomatic dispute in the Persian Gulf region in decades. However, Doha has stood up to the pressure and rejected the seemingly humiliating demands.

It is widely believed that the diplomatic row should be resolved through talks, but the United States, the key player in the Middle East, has displayed an inconsistent approach to the issue, which has compounded the difficulties in resolving the dispute.

The Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council have also failed to play a mediating role in the diplomatic crisis, showing that they cannot do anything to stop the rift in the Arab world from deepening.

However, given that the US is unlikely to allow Saudi Arabia and its allies to take extreme actions that may interfere with its established strategic interests in the Middle East, the ongoing diplomatic dispute is unlikely to spiral out of control.

The US does not view Qatar as a sponsor of terrorists and its large military presence in Qatar means there is little possibility of Washington abandoning its military and strategic position in the country.

Thus, the power struggle among the regional players may continue although there is no possibility of a large-scale war.

But considering that Riyadh is incapable of dominating the Middle East and cannot afford to offend the US, the diplomatic crisis it has instigated is expected to gradually subside.


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