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Last modified: February 10, 2014 12:11:34.
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QU experts participate in panel discussion in Washington DC

LAWC Dean Dr Mohamed Abdulaziz Al-Khulaifi, QU Professor of Political Sociology Dr Majed Al-Ansari, and Professor of Political Science Dr Mohammed Al-Misfer participated in a panel discussion on “The GCC Crisis in Context” recently held at the Holeman Lounge National Press Club – Washington DC.

Organized by the Arab Center Washington DC (ACW), the panel discussion aimed to highlight the issues related to the current Gulf crisis. It was moderated by ACW Executive Director Dr Khalil Jahshan.

Dr Mohamed Abdulaziz Al-Khulaifi said: “International Law is deemed the main reference regulating international relations and defining the rights and obligations of each state. It also organizes all issues relevant to international matters including human rights and maintaining human dignity, considering the individual as an integral part of the world community. Thus, concomitance between the law and the international relations is quite close. If the law is absent, chaos will spread in the world community and international practices and conducts will lack standards and rules.”

He noted that the Qatar’s blockade violates a great number of international law principles, such as the principle of the prohibition of the use or threat to use of force in international relations, the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs, the principle of equality in sovereignty, the principle of conflict settlement through peaceful means, the principle of implementing the international obligations in good faith and not to abandon them based on a unilateral will without reasonable justification, the principle of non-abuse of using the right, and the obligation to respect and protection of human rights and preserve human dignity. He also noted that the Qatar’s blockade is a clear violation of the systems of GCC, Arab League, and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, as well as to the Chicago convention (Aviation), and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Sea Transportation).

Dr Majed Al-Ansari noted that the Qatar’s blockade is not about terrorism referring to the claims presented against Qatar. He also noted that it is not about the Qatari interference in the affairs of other states pointing to US State Department reports that Qatar is not meddling in the affairs of other countries. He further noted that it is not about Iran, where other GCC countries have more relations with Iran than Qatar does. He said: “There are many reasons for this, including economics. The UAE is uncomfortable with Qatar’s emerging economic model, but as a consumer I have not felt the impact of the siege on the Qatari markets or economy, as the state has subsidized some commodities and eased the legal framework for businesses.”

He added: “For Saudi Arabia, there are economic factors as well, but also internal politics and succession issues at play. KSA needs "a political win", as its involvements in Yemen, Syria, and Libya have not been fruitful. The crisis with Qatar, therefore, presented a "quick win".”

Dr Mohammed Al-Misfer noted that during the 115 days since the crisis started, the world has reacted to the blockade of Qatar “with shock and disbelief” as the international community “marvels at how this small country has weathered this crisis”. He also noted that the Qatar’s blockade is a violation to Qatar’s sovereignty, International Law, trade agreements, and the human rights of the Qatari people. One of the most important aspects of the blockade, he said, is these countries’ attempt to create internal conflict in Qatar that would eventually lead to the cancellation of Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He added: “The crisis has impelled Qatar towards increased self-reliance economically and socially and has actually unified the country.”