Qatar holding itself to higher standards

 25 Jul 2017 - 9:54

The blockade on Qatar, which has been imposed from the June 5, has done nothing more than show the international community that Qatar holds itself to higher standards.

The global growth of international cooperation since the 1950s has been a testimony to the fact that countries need to collaborate in order to achieve world peace. In literal terms, it took us two world wars to understand that sovereign states need to embrace cooperation to ensure collective and greater stability for all. Yet, decades later, we still find ourselves in bitter global disputes with outcomes largely relying on infringement of individual countries’ sovereignty.

Known to all, the blockade began when Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt abruptly cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar. Withdrawal of ambassadors and trade and travel bans were put into effect within hours. Essentially, the Saudi-led quartet cited Qatar’s alleged support for terrorism and the spread of hate speech through Al Jazeera, the state funded news channel as the main reasons for their actions.

First and foremost, let us all a take a second to acknowledge that Qatar is a member of the Gulf Council Cooperation and a host to the US military air base which is overseeing the war against ISIS. Additionally, Qatar’s relations with Gaza or any movement groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood are based on the principles of providing humanitarian relief and the ability to play the role of a mediator if need be, to promote regional peace.

Simply put, there will exist those countries who are seen as venues for negotiations because of their independent impartiality and Qatar is one of them. Alternatively, if none of what I just said is acceptable then we can follow the simple rules of logic. You make a claim and then support your argument with evidence. Otherwise, all claims remain baseless. The quartet is yet to produce evidence for the baseless allegations that have been made against Qatar.

The prosperity of any country lies in its ability to engage in diverse relations with other countries as a sovereign state. Sovereignty is not a privilege, it is a responsibility that leaders of countries undertake, to ensure the freedom and independence of its people. Admittedly, countries have to ensure that undertakings are grounded within the general rules that govern international laws and human rights laws, with dialogue among states being key to solving disputes.

As the saying goes, ‘A No uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a Yes merely uttered to please, or worse to avoid trouble’. As a Qatari, I am thankful that our leadership said No to the attempted infringement of our sovereignty.

Anwar Nawaf Al Thani is studying at the University of Minnesota and writes on education.