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Sunday, January 23, 2022

Bahraini official claims Qatar ‘not serious’ about resolving issues


Over a week ago, Manama’s foreign minister said Doha has not taken any initiative in resolving the outstanding issues between the two countries.

Bahrain’s Chairman of the Committee for Foreign Affairs, Defense and National Security accused Qatar of not showing “seriousness” in committing to its part in the GCC reconciliation, state news agency reported on Sunday.

Mohamed Al Sisi Al Buainain’s statement came on the sidelines of a meeting held between the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs, Defense and National Security Committee with Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullatif Al Zayani.

During the meeting, the foreign minister “emphasised the lack of commitment from the Qatari side” as the officials discussed the most prominent regional and global issues.

This echoed comments made by Al Zayani more than a week ago in which he claimed Qatar has not taken initiative in resolving outstanding issues with Manama, despite the signing of the Al Ula Declaration in January.

Al Zayani also previously “invited” Qatar to engage in dialogue to resolve issues between the two neighbouring states.

The Bahraini News Agency reported that Manama’s Foreign Ministry invited its counterpart in Doha to “send an official delegation as soon as possible” to proceed with talks that would specifically address issues that have not been settled.

Read also: Is Bahrain playing the role of saboteur in GCC reconciliation?

Despite the signing of the Al Ula Declaration and the restoration of diplomatic ties with the former blockading quartet, Bahrain’s position on reconciliation still remains in question.

In recent months, tensions between Qatar and Bahrain have heightened with several breaches by Manama’s ships in Doha’s territorial waters. One of the more prominent incidents involved the arrest of Bahraini bodybuilding champion Sami Ibrahim Al Hadad, who was later released by Qatari authorities.

Manama has also trespassed into Qatar’s airspace with fighter-jets, prompting Doha to lodge a formal complaint with the United Nations.

Bahrain also seized 130 properties reportedly belonging the family of Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, in what many have seen as yet another attempt to provoke Doha.

According to analysts, Bahrain has been playing as a “saboteur” and has been seen to be the least enthusiastic during the GCC reconciliation process.

“It is safe to argue that throughout the post-al-Ula period, Bahrain will be the most important to monitor in terms of cracks within the anti-Qatar Quartet. Possibly if Abu Dhabi has its way, Bahrain will come to serve as a saboteur in GCC reconciliation,” CEO of Gulf State Analytics Giorgio Cafiero penned in a Doha News oped.

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