Qatar May Be About to Annoy Saudi Arabia Even More

      Published on Thursday, 6 December , 2018      2610 Views     
Qatar May Be About to Annoy Saudi Arabia Even More

Qatar’s surprise decision to leave OPEC, announced for maximum effect ahead of the organization’s meeting this week in Vienna, has inevitably raised questions about whether it might also quit the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The GCC’s annual summit is Dec. 9 in Riyadh, and a similar announcement would undoubtedly irritate and embarrass Saudi Arabia. Tempting as this might be, the Qataris would do well to stay put.

The explanations offered by Qatar for its withdrawal from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries after 57 years could easily — indeed, more convincingly — be used to justify an exit from the GCC.

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, Qatar’s former prime minister, has tweeted that OPEC “is only being used for purposes aimed at harming our national interest.”

That goes double for the GCC, where two of its six members — Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — are prime movers in the economic blockade of Qatar.

(The blockade has been going on for 18 months and counting, and it stems from Saudi accusations that Qatar is destabilizing the region by cozying up to Iran, charges Doha contests.)

The inability of the GCC to resolve the dispute has underscored the council’s limitations. Qatar may now believe that it has nothing materially to gain from continued membership.

But here’s the twist: Exiting OPEC, a powerful cartel with a real impact on world affairs, will cost Qatar little, being a minor-league oil producer with little influence on the group’s decisions; leaving the GCC, an ineffectual grouping that has little impact on regional affairs, could cost it a lot.

If Qatar were to pull out, it would reinforce the Saudi-Emirati claim that the ruling family in Doha is undermining the Arab consensus.

Staying in the alliance allows Qatar to signal that it is committed to regional cooperation, putting the onus for ending the blockade on the Saudis and Emiratis.

Category Gulf News, Qatar | 2018/12/06 latest update at 3:21 PM
Source : Bloomberg | Photocredit : Google
Comments Add comment

Gulf Media

Related Articles

The editorial staff of Saudi Arabia Today would like to give all of its readers from Gulf and Saudi Arabia and the whole world the opportunity to participate actively in the development of the website! If you have something interesting, fun, scandalous - just something worth to be seen from more people. Capture it and share it in the Saudi Arabia Today with a short text.

Do you have information you want to reach our readers?

Send article/s

You can subscribe to our Facebook, Twitter and Google pages or use our RSS feed channel to always read the most important news about Saudi Arabia, the Gulf and the world.

Sponsored Publications