British analysts say Qatar won't be affected by boycott
June 11 2017 09:52 PM
Edwin Samuel
UK government spokesman for the Middle East and North Africa Edwin Samuel expressed his country's hope that the GCC can regain its unity soon


The UK government's position regarding the GCC crisis is similar to that of its European counterparts, calling for de-escalation and resolving differences through diplomatic dialogue.

The UK was one of the first European countries that called for calm in dealing with the decisions to sever ties with Qatar.
This came in remarks made by UK government spokesman for the Middle East and North Africa Edwin Samuel, where he expressed his country's hope that the GCC can regain its unity soon and reach a resolution in the near term.
He added that it was in Britain's interests to reach a resolution to differences between GCC members, in order for all sides to face future challenges together.
Despite that, British research centres believe that the GCC crisis will have adverse effects on British economic interests and particularly in the energy sector.
Researcher in Middle-East affairs at the University of London Edward Burke told Qatar News Agency (QNA) said that continued escalation in the GCC can harm the interests of many countries, especially Britain.
He noted that the State of Qatar plays a prominent role internationally as a leading exporter of LNG, and so this could require efforts to deal with the crisis.
Burke added that the European Union should move swiftly to mediate between GCC members to help reach a resolution, particularly as the crisis is related to Europe's energy sources.
The GCC alone provides 80 % of the world's energy sources.
Burke called on the three GCC member countries that initiated the escalation to reopen its borders with the State of Qatar in order to avoid a potential global energy crisis, that could be similar to the one that occurred after the 1973 October war.
Researcher in Middle-Eastern affairs at the University of Westminster Celina McMaster told QNA that the measures taken against Qatar will not have an impact in the near term, in light of reassurances from the Qatari government on its ability to deal with shocks.
She noted that the blockade enforced by a number of GCC members did not have a big impact, as it was clear that Qatar was capable of obtaining its food needs without relying on Saudi borders.
She praised Qatari diplomacy for its vibrancy in strengthening diplomatic ties with other partners, including with Turkey.
She also praised the Qatari response to the crisis which she characterised as calm, highlighted when the country announced that it will not expel any citizens of the countries that severed ties with it.
She said that such a move serves the goal of regaining the severed ties and reflects good intentions from the Qatari side.
Meanwhile, she described the act of establishing a terrorist list and requesting Qatar to respond to it as a hostile one on the sovereignty of another country.
She also described the US position as confused, especially as President Trump's remarks contradicted that of his secretary of state regarding the crisis.
The British position is in line with the European one which rejects the blockade and its implication it would have on humanitarian, economic, and social conditions of citizens and residents of Qatar.
German Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel called in a previous statement for an end of the blockade imposed on Qatar, describing it as unacceptable.
He added that Germany had strong interests in resolving the crisis peacefully.
The French ministry of foreign affairs had struck a similar note also, saying it wanted a resolution to the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and the countries which severed ties with it.
The ministry stressed that such a resolution should be reached through dialogue, and confirmed that it will speak with regional players in a bid to end the crisis.

Last updated: June 11 2017 09:53 PM

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