Qatari emir showed willingness to begin talks with Saudi prince after Trumps willingness to mediate talks between them. However, protocol dispute came out as an obstruction on the way to peace.
On Friday, The US president immediately materialized his promise to mediate talks on Saudi-Qatar row, the major Gulf Crisis. Trump initiated the talks between the two Gulf countries as he announced on Thursday in a joint news conference with Qatari emir.
Saudi Arabian media says that the plan to negotiate with Qatari emir has been postponed. The announcement came out shortly after reports revealed that Qatari emir and Saudi prince have made a phone call to resolve the Gulf crisis.
Since the onset of crisis, about over three months ago, the phone call between Qatari emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman, was first official talk between Riyadh and Doha.
The call was primarily made to end the rift but the protocol dispute aroused when Qatar News Agency (QNA) failed to mention that Doha initiated the call. Instead, QNA reported that the phone call was mediated and coordinated by Donald Trump.
According to QNA reports, the discussion over the phone revealed that Qatari emir and Saudi crown prince ‘stressed the need to resolve this crisis’ through mutual negotiations ‘to ensure the unity and stability’ of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Moreover, the QNA reported that Qatari emir entertained the proposal for acceptance given by Saudi crown prince to authorize two envoys for resolution of the dispute “in a way that does not affect the sovereignty of states”.
How Gulf Crisis Were Initiated?
5th June 2017: Doha, the capital of Qatar, was accused of funding terrorists by Saudi Arabia. Later on, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain developed alliance against Qatar and Saudi government initiated a blockade against Qatar. Moreover, Trump took the credit, then, to impose the blockade against Qatar.
22nd June 2017: The alliance offered a 13 points demand list in return for removal of the blockade. The demands included closure of Al Jazeera, reducing friendly ties with Iranians and dislodging Turkish troops from the Qatari territory. However, Doha denied to fulfill any demands as they appeared as attempts for infringing sovereignty of Qatar.
Earlier on Friday SPA, the news agency of Saudi state, reported that Sheikh Tamim made a call to Saudi prince, Mohammad Bin Salman to discuss and negotiate over the demands of the four countries forming an alliance.
SPA reported that, “The details will be announced later after the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia concludes an understanding with the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Arab Republic of Egypt”.
However, later on SPA reported what QNA has already revealed that the contact between Saudi and Qatar leader was simply a ‘distortion…of facts.’
SPA released another statement that, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announces the suspension of any dialogue or communication with the authority in Qatar until a clear statement is issued clarifying its position in public”.
How Trump will mediate the tensions now, is something that time can tell. Whether it was simply the ‘protocol dispute’ or some unrevealed truths, Qatar and Saudi Arabia require time to mend the ties probably.