Qatar is facing sanctions, further isolation and even potential expulsion from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) after it rejected a list of demands given to it by Saudi Arabia and the four other participating Arab states. The deadline for Qatar’s response to this list of demands had been extended an additional 48 hours, from Sunday to Tuesday this week, at the request of the Kuwaiti mediators overseeing the dispute.
The list of demands included 13 components that Qatar was required to concede in order to end the biggest political crisis it has experienced in decades. Three of the major elements included in these demands were: Shutting down the Al Jazeera news network, the closure of a Turkish military base in Qatar, and reversing its ties with Shia State of Iran to an appreciable extent. The defiant Gulf State issued a full official response, and said the unrealistic list of demands was “meant to be rejected”.
Qatar’s finance minister Ali Sharif al-Emadi has steadfastly proclaimed that his country is rich enough to withstand the threats of a blockade, claiming that “We have sovereign wealth funds 250 per cent of gross domestic product, we have Qatar Central Bank reserves, and we have a ministry of finance strategic reserve”.
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump underscored that unity in the region is critical to accomplishing the Riyadh Summits goals of defeating terrorism and promoting regional stability. He went on to stress his concern about the ongoing dispute between Gulf nations and emphasized the need for a quick resolution to the dispute. United States defense secretary, James Mattis, has also reaffirmed American strategic security partnership with Qatar according to the Pentagon, Amid this diplomatic crisis.
Considering the current variables at play, Qatar is not expected to experience any further impactive threats from its Arab neighbors in the short to medium run. The risk of military escalation in the crisis, despite the angry reaction from the four participating Arab nations, is highly unlikely. This internal quarreling between Arab States is likely to be resolved behind the scenes, and Qatars reintegration can be expected to discreetly and gradually occur within the next year.