Simon Henderson: Qatar's Father-Emir Dislikes Bahrain for Involvement in Coup against Him
2017-07-02 - 5:00 am
Bahrain Mirror: Simon Henderson, the Baker fellow at The Washington Institute and director of the Institute's Gulf and Energy Policy Program, said that Qatar's father-emir, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, is still the driver of Qatari diplomacy. He indicated that Hamad dislikes Bahrain, for taking part in an attempted counter-coup against him when he took power in 1995.
"On paper, it is Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the 37-year-old son of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who abdicated in Tamim's favor in 2013. But the leaderships of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who have become involved in a messy diplomatic squabble with Qatar, think it is actually Sheikh Hamad, now known as the "father-emir," who is still pulling the strings," Henderson stated in his Foreign Policy article.
There are a variety of judgments of who is really in control in Doha, Henderson noted.
"Hamad dislikes the Emiratis and the Bahrainis, but completely loathes the Saudis" was the opinion of a former diplomat who lived in Doha for several years, who insisted that the father is still the driver of Qatari diplomacy," he went on to say.
The researcher clarified that Hamad's antagonistic relationship with his Arab neighbors extends to the first days of his rule. After he pushed his own father to the side in 1995, the Saudis and Emiratis, with some Bahraini involvement, tried to organize a counter-coup.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain, along with Egypt, are leading the attempt to isolate Qatar by cutting off air links, restricting shipping, and closing the overland route via Saudi Arabia. They have produced a list of 13 demands and given Qatar until July 2 to accept them. Qatar, however, refused to implement all these demands.
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