Confusion grips Qatar’s ruling family over Gulf reconciliation

Qatari Emir’s father, former prime minister are uneasy about Sheikh Tamim’s plan of making concession to Arab quartet in bid to end boycott of Qatar.

LONDON - Confusion has gripped Qatar’s ruling family after Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani was going to make concessions to Saudi Arabia and other countries that are boycotting the gas-rich Gulf emirate, reported Qatarileaks.

Kuwait’s positive optimism towards its mediation between Qatar and the Arab Quartet was always seen by Qatari Emir’s father Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa and former prime minister Hamad bin Jassim as a positive path for its efforts to solve the Gulf crisis, said Qatarileaks.

But, during the last two months, uneasiness and concern gripped the two Al-Thani ruling family members about Sheikh Tamim’s path towards making concessions to the Arab Quartet by meeting many of their conditions when the boycott was declared.

Saudi Arabia and allies Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates closed their airspace to Qatar Airways and banned travel to the country over charges that Doha backs radical Islamists and seeks closer ties with Iran.

Informed Gulf sources familiar with the Kuwaiti mediation said that the Qatari Emir asked his Kuwaiti visitors to meet with his father or Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim and fill them in on what was happening and that taking a reconciliatory path required making concessions to the Arab Quartet, especially that Qatar has reached a stage in which it drained a lot of money and effort to face the consequences of the boycott, according to Qatarileaks.

Sheikh Tamim’s father and Hamad bin Jassim told the Qatari Emir that any reconciliation would not be accompanied by any concession and that the work should focus on spreading a dispute between the boycotting countries instead of reconciling with them with their own terms.

Animosity between Saudi Arabia and Qatar appears to be waning as has King Salman extended an invitation to the Qatari Emir to attend a Gulf regional bloc meeting in Riyadh next week.

This comes after reports that Qatar's Foreign Minister made an unannounced visit to the Saudi capital last month, according to the Reuters News Agency.

During his visit, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani supposedly met senior Saudi officials and made an offer to end the rift between Qatar and its blockading neighbours.

The three Gulf boycott countries took part in a regional football tournament in Qatar, which was won by Bahrain, having announced their participation at the last minute.

The football tournament gave Sheikh Tamim a stronger argument against his father and Hamad Bin Jassim who were betting on the non-attendance of Saudi, Bahraini and Emirati teams in order to bolster their argument against meeting the terms of the boycott.

This prompted Sheikh Hamad to ask Sheikh Tamim to cease his interaction with Kuwaiti mediation and to request that it be postponed until next year, which embarrassed the Qatari Emir.

The same Gulf sources reported that Sheikh Mohammed who is supporting Tamim in meeting the terms of the boycott in order to achieve reconciliation, proposed to circumvent the pressure of Hamad bin Khalifa and Hamad bin Jassim by leaking the news to the "Wall Street Journal" and "Reuters" that an important round was achieved through the Kuwaiti mediation.