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PoliticsGulf crisis defying easy solution

Gulf crisis defying easy solution

Three weeks into the Gulf crisis, Ethiopia is calling for a peaceful resolution, while Eritrea took a position of siding with the Saudi bloc.

In an official press release on June 11, Ethiopia called on all parties to seek a diplomatic and peaceful resolution to the crisis.

“The Government of Ethiopia denounces any form of terrorist activities and condemns any kind of support to terrorist organizations,” a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs read.

Similarly, Ethiopia has announced that it would continue to work in concert with the international community in the fight against any threat to global peace and security. 

Meanwhile, Ethiopia lauded diplomatic efforts being made by Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to bring about a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

“I believe Ethiopia has taken a very wise and logical stand on the matter,” Abebe Aynete, a senior political researcher at the Ethiopian Foreign Relations Strategic Studies Institute (EFRSSI), said.

“It goes in conformity with the international order over the crisis,” Abebe said.

Regarding the stand taken by other Horn of Africa states, Eritrea was said to have cut its ties with Qatar as it supported Saudi Arabia and its allies. It is to be recalled that Eritrea had a partnership with Qatar over the last few years, and Addis Ababa was not thrilled with that.

Following the announcement, Qatar has decided to pull out its troops from the contested Eritrea-Djibouti border. Within a day, the Djiboutian government has accused Eritrea of mobilizing its soldiers and occupying a contested mountainous area between the two countries.

“The support by Eritrea to the Saudis may somehow force Djibouti to fully back the Saudi group,” Abdul Mohammed, a senior political analyst with the African Union, said.

Last week, the Djibouti government announced that it was downgrading its diplomatic representation in Qatar.

In a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Djibouti, the decision was taken in solidarity with the international coalition for combating terrorism and extreme violence as well as the Gulf and Arab countries.

In the middle of the unfolding crisis, the US, as the sole global superpower, is yet to show which side it is on. A week after a multi-billion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia, the Trump administration was also dealing with the Qataris to sell USD 12 billion fighter jets.

Moreover, the USA, which maintains a large military base in Doha, was planning to conduct a joint military training with Qatar.

“I believe the Trump administration is playing a negative role in the middle of this particular crisis,” Abdul said.
He also expressed concern that the escalating conflict between the Gulf countries might degenerate into a proxy war.

“These Gulf countries are trying to introduce instability to the region,” he said.

The Middle East is already in a crisis, and these allies are fighting a war in Yemen as well as Syria by supporting different groups.

At the AU summit next month, African countries are expected to take a stand over the crisis.

African countries and institutions nowadays have a better structure and political shape than those in the Gulf countries.

On June 16, 2017, the chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, Mr. Mahamat Moussa Faki, expressed growing concern over the political dispute.

Faki also called for the urgent resolution of the dispute through dialogue and, in this regard, called for a mediated and peaceful solution, including through the efforts of the Government of Kuwait.

“Ethiopia has to work on finding a multilateral stand over the crisis,” according to Abebe of EFRSSI.

This week Qatar’s minister of state for foreign affairs, Sultan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi, visited Khartoum and spoke with President Omer Al-Bashir. 

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