DOHA: Several citizens have expressed shock and surprise over the decision of three GCC countries — Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain — on Wednesday to withdraw their ambassadors from Qatar.
Social media networks were abuzz with comments from people across the Gulf after the news came out, expressing mixed views and sentiments over the unprecedented move.
“I wish this news was not true because we are brothers, we will never allow anything that affects our relations. We don’t need any problem between us,” read a post in Arabic on a popular Qatari social website.
“I hope we would know the truth from our officials and we trust them,” read another.
Interestingly, some GCC citizens have launched a campaign on Twitter with a hash tag titled “we are all ambassadors in Qatar” expressing solidarity with the Qatari people and government.
“If the GCC (countries) withdraw their ambassadors from Qatar, we the people say we are ambassadors in Qatar,” said a tweet.
Another comment said, “Qatar is paying the price for supporting Arab Spring dreams of freedom, democracy, and dignity.”
“We and the Qatari people are brothers and our relations go beyond ambassadors. Political disagreement will not break unity of the people,” said another tweet.
“Three ambassadors have been withdrawn from Qatar but thousands of GCC citizens are tweeting, showing their solidarity with Qatar” was how a woman commentator reacted.
Dr Abdullah Al Nafisi, a noted Kuwaiti writer and political analyst, wrote on his Twitter account, “Recalling ambassadors from Doha is a kid’s game. It shows political immaturity. I congratulate Qatar for not reacting in a similar way.
“What is happening between the GCC governments shows lack of vision, maturity and farsightedness,” he added.
Jaber Al Harami, Editor-in-Chief of Al Sharq, said in his column that it could be more logical if Saudi Arabia and the UAE recalled their envoys from Iran and Iraq, instead of Qatar, “because Iraq has been challenging the sovereignty of Saudi Arabia and Iran has been occupying three UAE Islands.
“We ask the three countries to show evidence to support their allegations against Qatar (of interfering in their internal affairs),” he added.
Quoting an informed source, Al Sharq reported yesterday that Qatar had accepted the implementation mechanism of a draft agreement prepared by Kuwait and sent to the GCC foreign ministers to be discussed in the ministerial meeting in Riyadh on Tuesday. But the Kuwaiti proposal was replaced by a Saudi one in the meeting, without prior consultation with other members.
The source said the real reason behind the recall of ambassadors was the situation in Egypt.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia find themselves in a dilemma after donating billions of dollars to the Egyptian regime, because the situation in the country still remains unstable.
The meeting ended without taking any specific stand. The foreign ministers of Kuwait and Oman were supposed to visit Doha on Wednesday for further discussions but the situation changed after the sudden release of the joint statement by the three countries, said the daily.
At the meeting, Qatar denied all claims raised by Saudi Arabia and the UAE that were based on newspaper reports and statements, majority of which were from Egyptian newspapers. After explaining its position, Qatar thought the issue ended there.