Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Gulf crisis: Royal ambitions and shaky alliances

Galip Dalay, Al Jazeera,

uncaptioned image from article

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are trying to solve their legitimacy issues by forming an anti-Qatari bloc.

The scale, scope and causes of the Gulf crisis have been perplexing even for keen observers of the region’s political scene. The architects of the blockade against Qatar are conducting a large-scale campaign of public diplomacy, tailoring different messages to different audiences in order to legitimise their moves and frame as acceptable what is really absurd.
While charges of Qatar having purported links with radical Islamist movements are meant to appeal to Western audiences, the accusations that Qatar has secret and intricate links with Iran is aimed at appealing to the Sunni Arab audience given its growing dislike of Iran thanks to the role it plays in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon. Then, after Iran and Turkey offered their support for Qatar, it appears that this time the same bloc has aimed at stirring up Arab nationalist sentiment against Qatar. The UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar bin Mohammad Gargash has accused Qatar of seeking the backing of two non-Arab states in the region. Fearmongering has been on full display during this recent campaign. ...

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