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Monday, October 25, 2021

Former Qatari FM hits back at ongoing ‘vulgar’ provocations

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Manama’s former foreign minister previously launched an attack on Doha, accusing it of violating GCC agreements.

The former foreign ministers of Qatar and Bahrain have appeared to engage in an indirect virtual brawl, as tensions between the two countries continue to rise despite the signing of the Al Ula Declaration.

Qatar’s former minister of foreign affairs and ex-prime minister, Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani took to Twitter on Monday to voice his thoughts on continued provocations that have emerged even after the GCC reconciliation.

“Despite the Al Ula Declaration and our awareness of the beginning of a new era between the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, as well as with Egypt, we still see and hear the continuation of provocation and vulgar statements charged with negativity and incitement,” Al Thani said on Twitter. 

Al Thani added that there are “electronic trolls” who  “are nothing but employees who write what is dictated to them, whether good or bad”.

“I know that there are journalists and writers who have expressed their point of view with balance and courage, and some of them defended the point of view of their country without falling into the abyss and swamps of regret,” he added.

The former Qatari foreign minister also tapped into “surprising cheap murmur” that has continued, hinting at those who seem to be less enthusiastic about the restoration of ties with Saudi Arabia.

Read also: Former Bahrain FM accuses Qatar of ‘violating GCC agreements’

Although Al Thani’s statements fell short of naming Bahrain specifically, they came just days after  Bahrain’s former foreign minister and current adviser to King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, who also wrote a Twitter thread, accusing Doha of “obstructing the work of the Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC]”.

“Although the GCC has made many important steps in favour of joint Gulf action, it faced many challenges and obstacles that threatened it and harmed the historical fraternal relations between its countries,” said Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa on Friday.

In the weeks leading up to and after the Al Ula Declaration, Bahrain has been perceived to be the least enthusiastic about reconciling.

Unlike Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, who quickly welcomed progress to end the crisis, the tiny Gulf kingdom delayed its statement for weeks.

Bahrain has also continued its apparent attempts to provoke Qatar. This includes repeated breaching of territorial waters and airspace, as well as seizing 130 properties reportedly belonging to relatives of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Social media users quickly responded to the Bahraini official’s tweets earlier this week, which were described as a “failed attempt” to disrupt the GCC reconciliation and yet another provocative move by Bahrain to portray Qatar as the party standing in the way of regional stability.

“Obvious distortion of facts and lies by a person without principles and a corrupt and oppressive regime … what about your coup plot in 1996 or the blockade?” Qatari journalist Fahad Al Emadi responded on Twitter.

Meanwhile, in recent statements by Bahrain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullatif Al Zayani, the official said Qatar has not responded to an invitation sent in January by Manama to discuss “outstanding issues”.

However, analysts say Qatar’s unresponsiveness to the “illogical” invitation is far from surprising considering the ongoing provocations from Manama.

“It clearly doesn’t seem to make sense to Qatari officials that, during escalations and ongoing attempts to taint Qatar as aggressive in the eyes of Bahraini society, that Doha would receive an invitation to send an official delegation for talks,” Dr. Majed Al-Ansari, Assistant Professor of Political Sociology at Qatar University, told Doha News.


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