Abu Dhabi’s ambassador to Washington continues to justify the illegal blockade on Qatar three years on.
The UAE’s Ambassador to the US, Yousef Al Otaiba, says he believes there are no chances of his country lifting the blockade on Doha any time soon, he was speaking to Israeli outlet, Channel 12.
His claim comes despite an increase in statements hinting at a possible solution to the GCC crisis made by several officials including Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan.
“I don’t think it gets resolved anytime soon simply because I don’t think there has been any introspection,” said Al Otaiba in response to a question about resolving the Gulf Crisis; accusing Qatar of “playing the victim”.
Additionally, Otaiba stated that Doha must comply with the list of demands given in 2017 in order for the blockade to be lifted. Qatari officials have dismissed the demands, which included shutting down Al Jazeera, as a preposterous attempt at stripping Qatar of its sovereignty.
“The introspection process did not occur, and they continue to play the victim and continue to pretend to be bullied, but did not address the root causes of the problem, and until you address the root causes of this problem, I do not think this is going to get solved,” Otaiba told his Israeli audience.
Prior to the diplomat’s statement, Riyadh’s foreign minister bin Farhan stated that Saudi Arabia is “committed to finding a solution” to the three-year-long Gulf crisis triggered by his country’s blockade of Qatar.
Echoing the same sentiment, David Schenker, assistant secretary of Near Eastern affairs at the US Department of State, said earlier in September that the illegal land, air and sea blockade imposed on Qatar could come to an end ‘within weeks’.
With no outcome in sight following the previous, hopeful statement, mediating countries like Kuwait, have been pushing for an end to the blockade.
During the first week of November, Kuwaiti Al-Qabas newspaper said officials were on the move to solve the Gulf crisis, affirming the country will not stop its efforts until the illegal embargo on Qatar comes to an end.
Among the list of mediators was the Trump Administration, which was stepping up its efforts in ending the three-year-long Gulf Crisis despite initiating it, in moves that seemed to be aimed at “pre-elections wins”.
Now, with a Biden presidency, experts think that the new US president “is likely to press much harder on Saudi Arabia and the UAE to end their blockade on Qatar”.
“A Biden administration will not have the same patience for their antics, and might well employ levers to pressure them to end the blockade that President Trump wouldn’t consider, including blocking or delaying arms shipments,” wrote Michael Eisner, General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer at DAWN, and Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director of DAWN, for Doha News.