All events and developments indicate that the boycotting of Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt will inevitably end with Doha’s acceptance of the thirteen conditions these countries have set without exception. Thus, Qatar’s current political and diplomatic moves, its appeal to the United States after losing hope with Iran and Turkey, and its inability to move forward with its crisis, show unequivocally that the Qatari regime is looking for a solution to its crisis at any price.
Qatar has resorted to the United States after exhausting all its political and media recourses in an attempt to counter this Arab decision. However, acceleration of events has revealed to the Qatari leadership the extent of their losses and the weakness of their regime on a daily basis. From inside, a mass explosion is expected that will be ignited by the Qatari people’s adherence to their Arabism, their rejection of the regime’s policy, and its separation from the Arab body and Gulf spirit, in addition to the deterioration of the situation, the economic recession and dragging the country into the unknown.
Doha has spent billions of dollars of Qatari public money in propaganda aimed at improving its image and at the same time damaging the boycotting countries, to mix up the cards and fabricate accusations to ease the international pressure placed on it because of its proven support for terrorism. It has also signed arms deals worth about $25 billion since the outbreak of the crisis so far, with the aim of buying international positions. Additionally, it allied itself with the Iranian regime, the Zionist entity and terrorist organizations, but all in vain, even prolonging its crisis and causing greater damage.
Economically, indications of the collapse of the Qatari economy started to be seen as little as one month after the beginning of its crisis. It suffered heavy losses in several economic sectors, the most important of which is the capital market, banks and investments. Since the beginning of the crisis, Doha has lost a quarter of its oil exports to the Asian market in favor of other Gulf alternatives. Its sales to Japan and South Korea have decreased dramatically. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered the forecast for the growth of Qatar’s economy this year by 0.9% to become 2.5%, after being 3.4% earlier. Reports confirm that the foreign investments have largely deserted the Qatari market, where the Ministry of Economy and Trade has acknowledged that more than 750 companies have left the Qatari market as a result of the economic crisis and the boycott of the Arab quartet which calls for the fight against terrorism.
Qatar’s central bank has revealed in a report that the non-resident deposits, both foreign and Qatari, in Qatar’s Banks have fallen by 25.7% since the Arab Quartet announced the severing of relations with Doha due to its support for terrorism and sponsoring extremist organizations. The total decline in the non-residents’ deposits in the Qatari banks between May and December 2017 amounted to about $12.4 billion. The Qatari government’s debt to the commercial banks have also increased by 29.3% during the last year compared to 2016 with $ 91 billion. Foreign reserves of the Qatar Central Bank fell as well by 13.7% in the last year, compared to the previous year with 37.5 billion dollars only.
Politically, Doha is suffering from regional and international isolation and has been unable to buy permanent and supportive parties for its policies from among other countries and is now under considerable pressure from international and human rights organizations because of its practices and activities in support of terrorism, its record of human rights violations, and its relations with terrorist regimes and organizations, mainly the Iranian regime and the Muslim brotherhood. What these institutions, organizations and the international community demand are the same demands made by the Arab Quartet countries that support the counterterrorism process, which means that Doha has no choice but to comply with those demands.
Al Mezmaah Studies & Research Centre
6 February 2018