After years of tension and isolation, Qatar, which hosted talks between the U.S. and the Taliban, is back at the center of regional diplomacy, launching a coordination council to strengthen economic and commercial partnership with Riyadh. First visit in four years by a senior Emirati official to Doha.
Doha (AsiaNews/Agencies) - After years of tension and isolation at the regional level, especially with the Gulf countries once among the closest allies, Doha moves the pawns of diplomacy and relaunches relations with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In these days, in fact, Saudi and Qatari representatives have signed an agreement leading to the creation of a coordination council for the improvement of relations. The new body will be chaired - confirming its importance - by the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (Mbs) and the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani.
The signing took place in the futuristic Saudi town of Neom, the heart of the new "Vision 2030" wanted by bin Salman to free the nation from oil and open it to world tourism, while loosening the grip of religion (Islam) on the life of the nation. The council will be called upon to coordinate and strengthen bilateral relations and economic and trade partnerships "toward broader horizons." Emile Hokayem of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, speaks of a "cold peace," the result of a pragmatic change after the tumultuous period of Donald Trump's presidency. A "fragile" de-escalation and the result of "temporary circumstances," not a real "change of mindset."
The meeting between top officials from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) held in Doha, as part of the first visit in four years of an Abu Dhabi emissary to the country shows that regional diplomacy is on the move. Protagonists of the face-to-face meeting between Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed al-Nayhan, national security advisor and brother of the de facto leader of the Emirates, and Emir of Qatar al-Thani. A note explains that discussions focused on "the strengthening of cooperation" between the two nations "particularly in the areas of economy and trade, as well as investment projects."
The meetings of recent days strengthen the project of reconciliation between Doha, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi after years of tension. In the wake of the Wahhabi kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt had also broken off relations with Qatar in June 2017. The conflict originated over ties between Doha and Tehran, which in the past have confirmed mutual economic and diplomatic support. In reality, behind the dispute - which has isolated small emirate in the Gulf area, bringing it even closer to Turkey and Morocco - there would be the contrast in Sunni Islam between Doha and Abu Dhabi and the support that Doha offers to the Islam of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Qatar also played a leading role in the negotiations between the United States and the Taliban, mediated in recent months and that should have guaranteed a political agreement for the transaction of power in Afghanistan. The situation has precipitated in a few days with the fall of Kabul, the desperate attempt to flee by hundreds of thousands of people and the first massacre, which took place yesterday, of Isis K that wants to take advantage of the confusion to gain more power. Precisely in Doha on February 29, 2020 took place the signing of the so-called "Agreement to bring peace to Afghanistan" between U.S. negotiators and exponents of the Koranic students, which provided for the birth of "the Islamic emirate".