Opinion and Editorial

KT edit: The GCC moves ahead in the spirit of globalism

Filed on December 9, 2018 | Last updated on December 9, 2018 at 06.57 pm

The Qatar crisis and Iran's efforts to destabilise the region only makes the Gulf Cooperation Council stronger. The group's resolve is greater and the confidence in individual and collective capabilities is growing by the day. The bloc will not be shaken by a member that seeks to court extremists while claiming all along that it is in the interest of the greater good while it foments ideological extremist thought and action.

We are talking of Doha and the boycott of the country by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf and Arab countries. Qatar is playing into the hands of Iran that is on the mat after being hit with sanctions by the United States. This is a time of geopolitical shifts, and angst for people in the region. It is important to be on the side of the right when such tectonic shifts take place. This means eschewing extremism and rooting out terror in all its forms.

Qatar was a fertile ground for promoting an ideology of hate. Its gas wealth made it ambitious and the country threw money around and bought support from new friends.

It courted shady characters linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and the Taleban among others. But the game was up with the Gulf boycott. Qatar now finds itself on the precipice of history. Doha has done disservice to the Gulf cause. Iran, meanwhile, remains a pariah state lording over a war economy that could take years to be back on its feet. Iran's state of constant war feeds militant and terrorist movements like Hezbollah and the Houthis. Qatar fits in nicely through its support of other extremists. Therein lies its dilemma and also hope for reform and a change of heart. As for the GCC, the UAE-Saudi partnership is more solid than ever. It has taken a new strategic dimension. The economies are in sync and politics is only about development and a better life for the people. Both opportunities and challenges await the GCC as it meets for its 39th summit. It looks to forge new partnerships and find new friends in the spirit of globalism. The bloc has the potential to become an economic powerhouse like the EU. A change of heart from both Qatar and Iran is what the GCC seeks - an end to the miltant mindset, and the war economy they promote. Is that too much to ask in the cause of peace and justice for the people of the Gulf?

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