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Malik Ayub Sumbal is Senior Broadcaster, Political Commentator, and Media Consultant. Malik has been associated with world-leading media outlets and news channels. He has more than 18 years of experience while working on key editorial positions. Malik was President at the Consortium for Press Freedom (CPF), a leading organization working for the Press Freedom and Free Speech around the world.

The egoistic approach of Saudis fails to deter Doha despite the blockade

It has been three years now when Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries imposed a land and sea blockade on Qatar with objectives to isolate Qatar from the rest of the world but all these efforts failed miserably and Doha became more interactive than earlier.

During these three years, multiple efforts were made to mediate between Qatar and Saudi Arabia but no fruitful results were witnessed. Mediation efforts on part of the United States and Kuwait were undermined by Saudi Arabia to end the Gulf Crisis. The allegations leveled on Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, and Egypt has been rejected by the Qatari top leadership.


The major conflict between Qatar and Saudi Arabia lead the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) towards the prevailing status of the Gulf Crisis and it is being sated that Doha does not follow instinctively every command by Riyadh. Qatar is an independent country and they have the right to make their own decisions and foreign policies according to their interest.


Qatar owns a very balanced foreign policy towards the US and Iran, and to maintain good relations with Iran will not harm Doha ties with Washington. However, Saudi Arabia used Iran rhetoric against Qatar in this blockade that exposed the Saudis anti-Iran approach.


Saudi Arabia has a very strong hold on GCC countries and Qatar is the country from which Saudi Arabia feared due to its economic boom as Doha is moving towards becoming a more dependent and global hub of international activities and events.


Nevertheless, during this blockade period, Saudi Arabia faced a very cold response from its major allies, and Qatar has been strongly supported by the United States and some other countries that made Saudi leadership a bit desperate towards insolating Qatar.


Saudi leadership has never expected such kind of Qatari backing from the international community especially Turkey in this entire Gulf Crisis who immediately filled this vacuum and come very close with Qatar.


Saudi Arabia also badly failed to sour the relations between the USA and Qatar that is one of the major setbacks for Mohammad bin Salman. In all these three years, Saudi Arabia has been facing numerous challenges from one after another that leverages Qatar.


Qatar has been becoming increasingly an international hub and moving forward for a high reputation as compared to Saudi Arabia. In these three years of blockage Qatar’s leadership response was much responsible and Qatar always ready for dialogue, so Qatar has almost won the moral and ethical battle on this front.


On Friday the third anniversary of Qatar-blockade, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani tweeted and stressed the strong unity of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to protect the peoples and to combat the challenges together but this divide halted this cooperation. He also gestures to open new initiatives for dialogue to end this crisis.


Saudi Arabia might be interested to end this blockage but the egotistical mindset of crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman is being anticipated as a possible major hindrance towards the end of this blockage.


Dr. Steven Wright, Associate Professor and Associate Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Hamad Bin Khalifa University underlined that the illegal blockade of Qatar remains, to this day, one of the darkest episodes in the history of the region. It has divided families, imposed restrictions on the freedom of movement of peoples, uprooted students from their degree programs, and all of this has been perpetuated by a hostile media campaign that rests on disinformation. With thousands of human rights violations documented, each case is a tragedy, and it has affected citizens and expatriates both in Qatar and the countries that are taking these illegal actions.


In wake of Covid-19 pandemic lockdown across the globe, when all major economies of the world are kneeling and the Coronavirus pandemic is going to shade Gulf countries with geopolitical, ethnic, and sectarian battle lines. Coronavirus pandemic implications are going to make economic breakdown following the manipulations of oil prices. The emerging situation out of the Coronavirus crisis is going to change the landscape of world politics and subsequent economic ties.


Dr. George Dimitropoulus, Associate Professor, College of Law, Hamad Bin Khalifa University stated, “Post-war international legal order has created a variety of institutions for the resolution of disputes among nations. There are the traditional ways of resolving disputes among states, as well as a multiplicity of international courts and tribunals, each operating within their own specialized regime. A state can select an international court or tribunal to bring forward its case. As the blockade evolved, the State of Qatar chose a strategy of filing multiple claims before various international courts and tribunals. This is the right way to approach the resolution of this crisis based on the international rule of law.”

Malik Ayub Sumbal is an Award-Winning journalist, Geopolitical Analyst, Commentator & Moderator. He is the author of his newly published book Tovuz to Karabakh, A Comprehensive Analysis of War in South-Caucasus. He tweet @ayubsumbal