June 5 marks the fourth anniversary of the blockade of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Egypt, Qatar, and five months after the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia. the end. A rift in the history of the organization. The way in which the 43-month blockade began and ended reflects the significantly larger changes in regional and international perspectives since 2017.
Therefore, it is possible to study what lessons have been learned over the past four years, whether the agreement signed in Al-Ula is relevant and how the reconciliation process is going.
From beginning to end, the blockade of Qatar was a textbook study of the weakening of the international order based on the rules of the regional crisis during the era of US President Donald Trump. Equivalent to a power play to isolate Qatar politically and economically, it began with the Qatari news agency’s hacking and planting of false news, which was intended to provoke the comments of the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. This created a chain of events that led to the real manifestation of the crisis, which was based on the concept of “alternative facts.” The term was coined by Kellan Conway, then a senior adviser to Trump, in January 2017.
The blockade also prompted an emirate to raise awareness of Trump administration with officials from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, which began with a visit by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Ayyed to New York to meet with members of the transition group in December 2016. This information reached its peak Trump made his first foreign trip to Riyadh in 2017. In May. This period included a series of relationships that seemed to be intended to address the White House’s non-traditional decision-making style, creating and strengthening a campaign of influence that portrays Qatar as negative. regional affairs actor.
This approach seems to have paid off, as Trump shocked observers, including by all accounts, his և defense, secretaries, who initially supported the blockade, found that his decision to move against Qatar was linked to talks in Riyadh two weeks ago. Trump’s statement threatens to turn the tide of Qatar’s security-defense partnership with the United States, encouraging the blockade of capitals that Trump’s deal-taking approach could take him into dispute.
In retrospect, the assumption that the rest of the US government would back down in the White House was wrong – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Ames Metis, US military leaders pushed Trump back to change his position.
It is not clear why the officials of the blockaded states, including those who knew the US policy very well, would think differently. One possibility is that the Trump administration, which entered the office loudly declaring its intention to do things its own way, regardless of the norm, simply encouraged friends and opponents to believe what it meant.
By September 2017, the blockade had become a pattern of restraint for the rest of Trump’s shocking presidency. Kuwaiti Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah’s visit to the White House that month was marked by Emir Sabah’s comments that “it is possible that we have stopped hostilities,” but Kuwait և US-mediated attempts to break the deadlock at least twice. In December 2019 հ July 2020, hopes for a breakthrough in Saudi-Qatar relations were dashed, indicating the difficulty of resolving a dispute involving five parties rather than two.
The turning point in Al-Ula in January 2021 was a series of developments, both regionally and internationally, in 2019 և 2020. While Trump’s defense of Qatar in defense of the June 2017 blockade (temporarily) called into question the credibility of the US partnership, for Riyadh և Abu Dhabi, their “moment of truth” came in May-September 2019. The UAE has reached the culmination of Trump publicly distinguishing the United States և Saudi Arabia’s interests from rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
The 2019 Iran-related attacks shattered Saudi Arabia’s regional self-confidence in developing a policy of the Emirates, as it did, particularly when it came to having a relationship with Iran that their interests and those of the United States were essentially the same. The leaders of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, began to directly and indirectly reach out to Iran to explore ways to escalate tensions, while the leadership of Qatar responded in 2019. The attack on Abkaik in September reaffirmed the principle of collective security of the NSC. If nothing else, the 2019 attacks showed that despite all the differences in approach, Doha was not a primary, or even a significant, threat to the regional security and stability that was projected to be in 2017.
A year later, Trump’s failure in the 2020 presidential election means that Gulf leaders face the prospect of taking over the Biden administration in January 2021. During the campaign, Biden and other members of his team expressed skepticism about the credibility of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of the region, especially Saudi Arabia, as a responsible partner. It was no surprise, then, that Trump’s transition to Biden saw the end of a blockade that probably would not have happened under another president, with Saudi officials placing Mohammed bin Salman at the center of the Reconciliation Summit, presenting him as a regional statesman. drawing lines for the last four years.
Although the exact details of the al-Ula agreement have not been disclosed, there is reason to be cautiously optimistic that the reconciliation process will be longer than the signing of the Riyadh agreement, which ended the 2014 diplomatic confrontation and failed to prevent a further break in 2017. It is noteworthy that further meetings were held between the delegations of Qatar և Emirates, as well as Qatar և Egypt հերթական, regular rounds of negotiations were held to resolve the issues of concern.
This implies that the Al-Ula agreement, unlike the Riyadh agreement, is not a one-time document, but part of a deeper process of reunification of certain bilateral paths that may allow the parties to go deeper than a common “one.” The “size fits all” agreement will allow. It notes the acceptance of the fact that the issues are bridging, not being taken as a “take it or leave it” ultimatum, like the so-called 13 demands made by the blockading states in June 2017, which were not the basis for fruitful negotiations.
It seems an acknowledgment of flexibility that relations between the four blockading states of Qatar will not all proceed at the same speed or depth. There are already signs that relations with Saudi Arabia և (to a lesser extent) have improved the fastest և prospect’s, which probably reflects the fact that most of the hostilities following the blockade did not arise in Riyadh or Cairo. Together with other GCC leaders, the Qatari leadership expressed support for the Crown Prince in February in connection with the publication of CIA revelations in connection with the assassination of Saudi journalist Jam Amal Khashoggi in 2018. Reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s Stability for Regional Security անվտանգությանEmir Tamim He visited Muhammad bin Salman in Idda, and at all levels the ties were fully restored.
The blockade of Qatar was the longest-running breakthrough in the history of the United Nations, marking its 40th anniversary on May 25. ի Unlike previous periods of tension, its impact was not limited to the level of policy-making elites, but to entire nations. The damage done to the social fabric of the Gulf House can take longer to recover, and memories of bitterness can be shared in the media and on social media platforms. For the time being այն for the foreseeable future, however, all parties to the blockade are likely to create a modus vivendi at least until the regional or international context changes again.