Recently, diplomatic problem raise up between Arabian countries where Saudi Arabia and their three biggest alliances, Bahrain, Egypt, and Uni Emirate Arab (UEA), has confirmed that they were breaking diplomatic relationship with Qatar. The problem was caused by Qatar’s state run news when they published a fake article stated that Qatar is helping the biggest radical Islamic group in the world, ISIS, and Qatar.’ ruling emir was quoted praising Israel and Iran. As a result, Saudi Arabia and its alliances hang up the air, sea, and land travel from and to Qatar. A longstanding war between Saudi Arabia and Qatar has exploded more than diplomatic warfare, but also threatening US led fight against ISIS and setting off instability in Gulf region where countries such Yemen, Libya, and Maldives also joined Saudi Arabia to diplomatically boycott Qatar (Aleem, 2017).
As a richest oil and gas country, Qatar will feel the pain because Uni Emirate Arab block the trade and travel in and out of Qatar where Qatar also relies on their neighbors for its trading activities. A lot of ship transporting food to Doha stopped in UEA’s big cities such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi and it still remain uncertain what will be the effect from the UEA’s bans on their movements. The tension between those countries are not recently happening, nevertheless both countries have been raised into extraordinary level of breaking off diplomatic relationship and travel blockade. This conflicts also sketched Qatar’s determination on pursuing their independent policy, containing agreements with Iran, where the country is competing against Saudi Arabia for Influence in the region (Venkataramakrishnan, 2017).
Objective of The Paper
Qatar’s agency have been hacked by unauthorized hackers where stated that Qatar is financially help biggest radical Islamic group in the world in running terrorism activities. When the news published and came into Saudi Arabia, UEA and its alliances decided to suspend Qatar from any kind of travel activities and break the diplomatic relationship among them. Therefore, this paper will entirely discuss about the detail conflict itself, parties being involved directly and indirectly to the conflict, how does the countries negotiate to find the solution for the problem, as well as the conclusion and recommendation to overcome the Middle East region’s conflict.
Analysis and Literature Review
As stated in the introduction part, the parties being involved directly in Middle East region’s conflict are Saudi Arabia and its alliances against Qatar. Saudi Arabia is the party who decided to break diplomatic ties with Qatar because of fake issues stated that Qatar royal family have intentionally supporting terrorist and backing Iran when a whole Arabian countries united against it. On the other side, Qatar is the party who feel the pain due to Saudi Arabia’s suspension on every travel routes and Gulf States are turning away from Qatar. Moreover, there is the biggest indirectly party who involve in this conflict which is United State of America and their president, Donald Trump. White House have informed that Trump was hoping to scale back recent situation in Gulf region and hoping both parties come together to bring Gulf states in right track. Trump also decided to do his first international trip to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to show his support on Arabian countries against terrorism. In his speech, Trump underlined that Arabian countries must certify that Terrorist have no reserve on their land (Hodali, 2017). However, what Trump doing in Riyadh was make the troublesome dual role for Qatar for US in its fight against Terrorism in Middle East because Qatar was becoming complicated challenges for US itself. On one side, US know Qatar is a potential source of support in funding radical group considers as terrorists associations, such as ISIS. On the other side, it also help the Pentagon to control bases in territory to serve as intermediary among US and Islamic groups across regions. This means that US are willing to work with Qatar out of a belief that positives overshadowed by clear negatives, including unofficial support of US for militant and radical activities in Middle East region (Aleem, 2017).
On the basis of negotiation, Qatar was try to negotiate with Arabian countries to cut off the suspension on Qatar. Qatar are trying to negotiate by discovered a concrete evidences to influence Saudi Arabia and its alliances that Qatar are not supporting Islamic Radical Group in Middle East. For instance, Qatar supported Muslim brotherhood in Egypt during Arab spring ultimately came a cropper when brotherhood government was collapsed by the military soon after the revolution. As many point out, it is not Qatar’s support for radical Islamic groups that has infuriated Saudi Arabia. It is the fact that Qatar does not support the same things as them led to the recent conflict (Venkataramakrishnan, 2017). As a huge natural gas reserve, Qatar try to negotiate Saudi Arabia to cut off the bans because Qatar cannot operate independently without Saudi Arabia. The location of Qatar is comprehensively dependence on crossing its border with Saudi Arabia. As a result of suspension was sent Qatar into panic situation because Qatar stock was falling down and local residents rushed to local markets to stock up on supplies (Cooper, 2017). As the consequences faced by Qatar, the right negotiation can be the best solution to calm down the tension among both countries and make strong diplomatic relationship between Saudi Arabia and Qatar as before.
Furthermore, cultural approach will slightly help to overcome the conflict among both parties. As largest country in Gulf state, Saudi Arabia has advocated common regional policies under its cultural leadership. Nevertheless, rapid development of oil and gas in Qatar has allow the country leftover the capital to create their own global influence. It means that in term of cultural relationship, both countries are demanded each other to influence other countries in Arab region. Moreover, Qatar ambitious development has included opening its society into global cultural, educational, and business influences. Qatar also have been chosen as a host country for 2022 World Cup. Qatar also has emphasized its intention to work with global partner, included Saudi Arabia, which can be beneficial not only for Qatar itself but also for surrounding Gulf region. Therefore, Qatar has intended cultural foreign policy to resolve the conflict by mediating among Islamic groups and Arab Government. While some view have criticized those policy, Qatar could argue that this mediating strategy through cultural policy is the best solution to overcome conflict because inhibiting Islamic political opposition has not worked (Mednicoff, 2017).
Based on the given evidences above, I am quite sure that will be the winner party in this negotiation because the measures of Arab nation to cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar was unjustified. Arab nations justified their decision based on allegation and claims only where fake news published that Qatar was supporting Islamic radical groups without basis in fact. Moreover, cutting of diplomatic ties and suspending borders is not best solution to resolve the conflict, whereas, it can cause instability problem. Therefore, Qatar use their power to negotiate and sit together to address the differences among Arab countries, because Qatar also aimed in helping Gulf Cooperation Council stay united (Al Jazeera Media Network, 2017). As the biggest country in Gulf region, Saudi Arabia has their power to influence Arab countries with their regional policies under its leaderships. However, Qatar can still win the negotiation in this conflict, because the rapid development of massive oil wealth. Qatar have improves their nations as a biggest country in exploring oil and gas, which allow the country to excess capital to establish their own global influence. Therefore, Qatar can influence their power to humiliate the regional influenced policy of Saudi Arabia leadership (Mednicoff, 2017).
Moreover, the conflict between Qatar and Saudi Arabia can be solved with the help of third party as a mediator. As a neutral country, UEA believe that Indonesia as a best mediator to help intercede d the diplomatic country between Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, UEA believe that Indonesia is a very kind country and having a good relationship with all countries in the world. Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs have contacted by the UEA minister and given some message for Indonesia. UEA minister stated that Indonesia will be the best mediator during the negotiation between Qatar and Saudi Arabia because Indonesia have equal position in term of external politic and will give the best contribution for creating peace in the world. This means, Third party will play significant roles during the negotiation of both conflicted parties. Third party will listen to the problems, gathering all the best alternatives offered by both conflicted parties, and try to figure out the win-win solution where both conflicted parties can resolve the problem and feel happy with the solution (Hanggoro, 2017).
Conclusion and Recommendation
In conclusion, the beginning of Middle East conflict started when Saudi Arabia, as large country in Gulf Region, influenced other by using regional policies under its leadership which created a high tension among the Arab countries. Then, there is an unauthorized news stated that Qatar, as a richest country, supporting and financing the Islamic radical groups such as ISIS. Spontaneously, Saudi Arabia get angered because they were fighting against those radical groups and try to influence other Arab countries to break off diplomatic ties by suspending Qatar from land, sea, and air travel. As a result, Qatar will feel the pain because the country is not able to operate their trading activities and start causing the decreasing in Qatar’s stock. Then, Qatar try to sit together with Saudi Arabia in term of negotiation to overcome the problem and find the win-win solution. So, negotiation is expected to re-improve diplomatic relationship between Qatar and Saudi Arabia as usual.
At last, I would like to recommend that Qatar and Saudi Arabia should use Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) during the negotiation process. BATNA is critical in the negotiation process because both Qatar and Saudi Arabia cannot make a wise choice to accept negotiated covenant without knowing the alternatives. On the other term, if Qatar offered agreement is better than Saudi Arabia’s BATNA, means Saudi Arabia have to accept the agreement deals. However, if Qatar offered agreement that are not even better than Saudi Arabia BATNA, means Saudi Arabia have to reopen the negotiation for Qatar to improve the agreement (Spangler, 2012). As my recommendation, I expected that BATNA will help the negotiation process to solve the conflict and re-improve the diplomatic ties among both countries.
Al Jazeera Media Network. (2017, June 5). Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Bahrain cut ties to Qatar. Retrieved from http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/06/saudi-arabia-uae-egypt-bahrain-cut-ties-qatar-170605031700062.html
Aleem, Z. (2017, June 6). Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic war with Qatar, explained. Retrieved from Vox: https://www.vox.com/world/2017/6/6/15739606/saudi-arabia-ties-qatar-trump
Cooper, L. (2017, June 08). Understanding The Diplomatic Crisis Between Saudi Arabia And Qatar. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/06/08/understanding-the-diplomatic-crisis-between-saudi-arabia-and-qat_a_22130233/
Hanggoro, M. A. (2017, June 15 ). UEA minta Indonesia bantu penyelesaian konflik Qatar-Liga Arab. Retrieved from merdeka.com: https://www.merdeka.com/dunia/uea-minta-indonesia-bantu-penyelesaian-konflik-qatar-liga-arab.html
Hodali, D. (2017, June 6). Saudi Arabia vs. Qatar vs. Iran. Retrieved from http://www.dw.com/en/saudi-arabia-vs-qatar-vs-iran/a-39137531
Mednicoff, D. (2017, June 7). Why have other Gulf states cut ties with Qatar? Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/why-have-other-gulf-states-cut-ties-with-qatar-78906
Spangler, B. (2012, July). Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA). Retrieved from http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/batna
Venkataramakrishnan, R. (2017, June 05). How a ‘fake’ speech led to unprecedented tensions between Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Retrieved from Scroll.in: https://scroll.in/article/839681/how-a-fake-speech-led-to-unprecedented-tensions-between-qatar-and-saudi-arabia