Wednesday, December 12, 2018
'Qatar Foreign Policy Towards the Middle East Essay\r'
'Qatar is located in Arabian Peninsula in boarders with Saudi-Arabian-Arabian-Arabian Arabia, with only 225,000 citizens in a population of 1. 7 million. Qatar follows a hidebound religious ideology, Wahhabism. While some refer to Qatar as the Ã¢â¬Å" Second Wahhabi emirate,Ã¢â¬Â it is tradition abetter _or_ abettor kn protest as Ã¢â¬Å"the nearly boring place in the disjunctionÃ¢â¬Â or Ã¢â¬Å"the untaught known for being unknown (Roberts, 2012). Ã¢â¬Â However, Qatar emerged as a strong convey actor with encompassing ne 2rks of alliances in the world. The mediator role that Doha manoeuvres like a shot is crucial in the arna, particularly aft(prenominal) the Arab saltation (HRW, 2013).\r\nIndeed, Qatar supportinged the Arab Uprisings across the locality in 2011. In addition, Qatar invested amid $65 million and $100 one million million million to the FIFA world cup that it leave be hosting in 2022. The emeer founded a number of humanitarian projects in Sudan, S surfaceh of Lebanon, Gaza and Asia. In this paper, I attempt to respond the indecision of what are the driving motives of QatarÃ¢â¬â¢s contradictory polity in the business office eastern? And why, unlike its neighboring countries, QatarÃ¢â¬â¢s leading supported the Arab appraisals of 2011?\r\nEmir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Al Thani, say, Ã¢â¬Å"we support those who asked justice and dignity,Ã¢â¬Â when asked about his realmÃ¢â¬â¢s role in the Arab revolutions in an consultation in 60 Minutes . In response, President Barak Obama thanked the Emir for promoting majority rule in the Middle East (Al Thani, 2012). Ironically, Qatar is an absolute monarchy described as an Ã¢â¬Å" dictatorial regimeÃ¢â¬Â that is ranked 138th out of the 167 countries by democracy Index 2011. In addition, the Freedom House lists Qatar as Ã¢â¬Å" non necessitousÃ¢â¬Â (freedom house), (Democracy Index, 2011).\r\nTherefore, QatarÃ¢â¬â¢s lack of encounter of law, freedom of speech and political rights contradict Ã¢â¬Å"the EmirÃ¢â¬â¢s efforts to promote democracyÃ¢â¬Â and delegitimizes his political statements. In relevance to this hypocrisy, QatarÃ¢â¬â¢s foreign polity in oecumenic and its support of democratic transitions in the Arab region in specific serves its ambitions to secure itself from threats, importanttain its spot quo of an independent state and live with a leadership role in the region. Political Emancipation and the Saudi Threat: Al Thani family masterd Qatar for more than one(a) hundred fifty years.\r\nQatar attained its independence in 1971, when the British-mandate came to an end and after its refusal to join the coupled Arab Emirates federation. Since that date until the nineties, Saudi Arabia acted as the de facto protector of Qatar. Consequently, the Emir took policy directions from Al Saud. However, this blood witnessed a change in the early 1990s as tensions in bilateral relations between the two countries began to ari se. After the invasion of Kuwait and SadamÃ¢â¬â¢s threat to attack the Suadi kingdom, Saudi rapidly reached out to western coalitions in aim of protection.\r\nAs Suadi presented itself as weak and unable to defend itself, the Kataris began to doubt SaudiÃ¢â¬â¢s ability to protect the Qatari entity and opinionated to pursue a strong alliance with the US. Therefore, between 1990-1992, Qatar signed a military agreement with the United States to host its military base in Al-Odead. In response, Saudi worked to block QatarÃ¢â¬â¢s pipeline exports of gaseous state to United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Oman. As a result, tensions between the two countries intensified. Later, in 30 September 1992, Saudi attacked the Qatari boarders leaving three soldiers dead (2012).\r\nHowever, the clashes did not stop there. In1995, Shiekh Hamad Al Thani, the Crown Prince stick out then, seized military force after a bloodless coup dÃ¢â¬â¢etat a forgatherst his father. Of course, Saudi Arabia d id not welcome the coup dÃ¢â¬â¢etat because of HamadÃ¢â¬â¢s known strong motives to maintain his rural areaÃ¢â¬â¢s autonomy. Instead, Saudi financially supported another(prenominal) coup against the current Emir. Then, Qatar detained a number of Saudi and Qatari citizens who cooperated with the Saudi administration to bring the ousted prince back into power.\r\nThese tensions led the Saudi-Qatar relations into a deep immobilize until rapprochement happened in 2008 (2012). Since then, Shiekh Hamad Al Thani led the modernisation process to create a brand propose of Qatar. In its foreign policy, Qatar adopted diplomacy as a foreign policy machine that allows it to mete out on the mediator role in a number of regional disputes. In addition to its diplomatic activism and small size, the Qatari wealth that is invested in intermediation efforts paves the way for Qatar to be a learning ability in the political game today. A Theoretical come on QatarÃ¢â¬â¢s Mediation:\r\nTh e tribal personality of the Qatari society and the hierarchal system of the political sympathies lends the leadership absolute power to form the countryÃ¢â¬â¢s economic-political agenda and foreign policy. The major two agents that determine the political strategies of QatarÃ¢â¬â¢s foreign policy are its national security and its desire to pull in a brand name for itself. Hence, the main cardinal element of QatarÃ¢â¬â¢s foreign policy is mediation, which is simply is not a new political tool as the Ã¢â¬Å"early Al-Thanis were forced to become experts negotiators quickly in anarchic corner of the Middle East (Roberts).\r\nAccording to Jacob Bercovitch in his book, Studies in International Mediation, countries look at in mediation for various debates that include Ã¢â¬Å"(a) a genuine desire to change the course of a long-standing conflict to promote peace, (b) a desire to gain access to major political leaders and rude channels of communication, (c), a desire to broadca st oneÃ¢â¬â¢s ideas and fire standing and professional status, (d) the desire to preserve intact structure of which they are part, (e) regard mediation as a way of extending and enhancing their own yield and gaining some value from the conflict (Roberts). Therefore, from this perspective, QatarÃ¢â¬â¢s employs mediation for the enhancement of its professional status and the science of power.\r\nFrom here, Qatar mediated a number of disputes in the region including the Hezbollah dispute with the Lebanese government, the rebellion disputes with the northern Sudanese government and the Huothis dispute with the Yemeni government. Moreover, corporation in mediations between states is of great advantage to Qatar. Internationally, it promotes a peaceful image as a peacekeeping mission state in an attempt to gain intercontinental respect (Roberts).\r\nPeterson argues in his work, Qatar and the World, Ã¢â¬Å"The fundamental advantage, however, is that it assures the legitimacy of t he small state. This in turn leads to the single most consequential factor: increased awareness of and legitimacy accruing to Qatar- in domestic and external terms- enhances the prospects of the statesÃ¢â¬â¢ survivalÃ¢â¬Â(Roberts). Qatar so-so(p) position and its small size makes non-threatening to other state to get out negotiation with compare to Saudi which has interests in regional conflict, which leads political parties to refuse its negotiation, e. . Saudi support of the government in Yemen and rivalry with Hezbollah. On the other hand, Qatar accomplished diplomatic relations with almost everyone.\r\nQatarÃ¢â¬â¢s outside affairs minister, Shiekh Hamad bin Jasem Al Thani, in an interview on Al Ã¢â¬Jazeera, was asked by Ahmed Manosur, Al Jazeera presenter, Ã¢â¬Å"I just want to understand one function! In Qatar you have relations with the devils and the angels, with the Iranians and the Ameri sacks, with the Israelis and Hamas, he continued, how can we understand t his policy? (Mansour, 2012). Today, Qatar unlike other state in the region, calls Tehran in the morning and Tel Aviv in the afternoon Ã¢â¬Å"(Roberts). It was the first state in the gulf to host trade office of Israel, established advantageously relations with Hamas, opened communications with Hezbollah, the Emir of Qatar was the first to invite Ahmadinejad to attend the 28th Gulf Cooperation council steer in 2007. While other Arab states alienated Islamists, Qatar was in good terms with Arab oppositions, particularly Islamic groups.\r\nFor example, Yusuf Al Qaradawi is an influential Islamic leader, resident of Qatar since 1960s is the main guest who taken the Qatari citizenship is Al Jazeera headland religious show. Also, other Arab political dissidents were welcomed and took Qatari citizenship such(prenominal) as Mohammed Hamed Al Hamari from Saudi Arabia who organized young Role in Change in the Arabic Gulf; young activists from across the gulf attended the conference (Al Q assemi, 2012). Al Jazeera as foreign polity tool Part of Ã¢â¬Å"Brand QatarÃ¢â¬Â project, is to spread ideas and enhance QatarÃ¢â¬â¢s status.\r\nThe establishment of Al-Jazeera in 1996 came to serve that goal. Al Jazeera is an important tool of Qatar foreign policy, with its slogan the Ã¢â¬Å" The thought process and the other OpinionÃ¢â¬Â and the channel shameless criticisms to Arab leaders and programs on democracy and political rights. Al Jazeera shortly gained the respect of Arab public compare to other media alternatives that are state sponsored (Khtib, 2013). The channel broadcasted the revolutions across the Arab gush countries Ã¢â¬ that the appraisals in Bahrain .\r\nThe spread of revolutions were feared by Arab states, yet Qatar seemed to support the revolutions by Al Jazeera. That is said to be priming that inspired the youth in Egypt, Libya, Syria and Yemen to rebel against their governments and demand freedom and dignity. Nevertheless, The channel neutralit y was under question, during the Egyptian elections, Al Jazeera hosted members of MB like Khirat Al Shater, and Moahhmed Mosri. grand Turk Al Qassimi, a, wrote about Al JazeeraÃ¢â¬â¢s Arabic love ffaires with MB, he discussed some of his observations, that Muslim conjugation supports were given the chance to express their views on through the channel while critics towards Muslim Brotherhood were just now heard in the channel (Al Qassemi, 2012). Recently, Waddah Khanfar the director Ã¢â¬ general of Al Jazeera was replaced with Shiekh Ahmed bin Jasem Al Thani, who conducts degree in petroleum (Al Qassemi, 2012). This suggests that Al Jazeea is becoming less free to represents QatarÃ¢â¬â¢s government preferences and its support to Muslim brotherhood.\r\nApparently, Qatar calculations towards the Arab spring were opposite to its neighbors who supported Mubarak regime. It saw an opportunity to ally itself with revolutions to promote for its image as Ã¢â¬Å"Pro- Arab public Ã¢â¬ Â and be given regional role in Arab-Arab relations condescension the policy risks its taking incase these revolutions were not undefeated. done QatarÃ¢â¬â¢s Money, Al-Jazeera, regional mediations and international pressure, Doha was prosperous in making the Arab Spring an opportunity so that it plays valuable role and take a leadership role in the region. Qatar in the Arab Spring:\r\nQatar inbred position had to be changed when it realized that change lead topple the former leaders to stay at the head of the game head of Saudi, After MubarakÃ¢â¬â¢s fall, Qatar supported Muslim brotherhood in Egypt. Shiekh Hamad Al Thani, the foreign minster of Qatar state that his country wonÃ¢â¬â¢t allow Egypt to go bankrupt, Doha transferred five billion dollars to Egypt to meet its financial obligations. In addition to the financial support, Al Jazeera membersÃ¢â¬â¢ Muslim brotherhoods are regularly interviewed to spread their influence. Middle Ease Scholar, Alain Gresh calls Al Jazeera the mouthpiece of Muslim brotherhood (Khatib, 2013).\r\nFurthermore, Rashid Al Ghanushi of Al Nahdha party of Tunisia, stated in an interview with Al Arab newspaper that Qatar is a major partner of the Arab spring revolutions then itÃ¢â¬â¢s also a partner in contiguous period of democratic transition and study since it offers development projects to support the economy of the Arab spring states (2012). Qatar had to intervene in Libya and Syria to sustain its leading regional position. It was the first country to lead the international action against Gaddafi. Qatar supplied the rebels with total US$2billion. On the other hand, Qatar involved in gird Syrian rebels like the Free Syrian Army.\r\nAlso, it was successful in unifying the Syrian opposition. The importance of Qatar fight in the latter is to counter Iranian influence by allying with opposition while Assad regime is sanction by Iran (Khatib, 2013). In contrast to this, Al Jazeera was motionless towards the upr isings in Bahrian. Qatar has been selective in backing uprisings there. The reason behind that, is Saudi Arabia influence that views the situation as Ã¢â¬Å"ShiÃ¢â¬â¢a uprising Ã¢â¬Å" and regional rivalry with Iran, hence any intervention from QatarÃ¢â¬â¢s side in Bahraini issue would result tensions (Roberts, 2012).\r\nIn conclusion, Qatar had polar view towards the Arab Spring compare to its neighbors. Its objective to play a valuable role in the region, do Doha change its position as neutral state and take foreign policy risks. Although the question of weather Qatar made the right policy decisions or not remains unanswered yet. However, Doha succeeded in playing regional role a head of regional power like Saudi and influenced the Arab countries to take collective action towards Libya and Syria.\r\nIn addition, Qatar foreign policy faces challenges; among these challenges is the reliance on money donations to support can Arab Spring countries that would hinder progress in Qatari diplomacy. On the other hand, the lack of democracy and rule of law domestically puts Qatar legitimacy to promote for democracy under question. Moreover, making policy changes internally such as guarantee of political and civil rights to citizens hold parliamentary elections and protection freedom of speech will give Qatar legitimacy and enhance its image in international community.\r\n'