Posted in: 01/12/2020 – 16:30
This week, Jared Kushner, an advisor to outgoing US President Donald Trump, is on a tour of the Gulf region, which will take him to Saudi Arabia, where he will meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Qatar, with which he will meet the Emir of the country, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. This visit, in the last minutes of Trump's term, envisages mending the Saudi-Qatari rift. And through which the current administration is trying to record diplomatic victories. Will Trump's son-in-law succeed?
Is the Qatari-Saudi relations crisis heading towards détente? This leads to the settlement of the outstanding problems between Doha and Riyadh, with a sure desire on both sides to resume brotherly and diplomatic relations?
The visit of the son-in-law of the outgoing US President Donald Trump and his advisor, Jared KushnerTo the region, it is trying to give a new horizon to these relations, which have been in trouble for years, as Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad meet each one separately.
Kushner is considered the godfather of the Trump administration in the Gulf region, especially in Washington’s relationship with Riyadh, and he has strong ties to the Saudi crown prince. It has greatly contributed to the normalization of relations between Israel and each of the Emirates, Bahrain, and then Sudan.
Observers believe that Kushner will also work, during this round, to push Saudi Arabia to enter into agreements with Israel, and this would push other Arab countries to follow the example of Riyadh. But the kingdom does not seem ready for this at present. Although the Trump administration succeeded in obtaining Saudi approval for Israeli planes to cross its territory, according to an American official.
Is it in Riyadh’s interest to resume relations with Doha?
The dispute erupted between Qatar and three other Gulf states, namely Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, in addition to Egypt, three years ago. In June 2017, these countries cut ties with Doha, accusing it of “financing terrorism” and supporting Iran, accusations that Qatar has long denied.
Riyadh has been refusing to settle relations with Doha except with specific conditions, which was summed up by the Kingdom’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Abdullah Al-Muallami, in “Qatar retreating from its previous positions, its support for terrorists, its media platform for extremist parties, and its interference in the internal affairs of other Arab countries.”
Hussain Jamal: Kushner is trying to heal the rift and solve the Gulf crisis
Al-Mouallimi said in an interview: “There is no fateful or existential dispute between us and Qatar, we are one people and one country, and the Qatari brothers are an extension of Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Arabia is an extension of them. There is no justification for a permanent boycott in this regard, but the behavior of the Qatari leadership and the Qatari government at the present time is what stands A stumbling block to such reconciliation. ”
But the Kingdom is trying today to change its approach in its foreign policy so as not to lose a strategic ally, as important as the United States, with the arrival of Joe Biden to the presidency. And “ending the conflict with Qatar is a deal at the lowest cost” that is in its interest, according to Hussein Ibish, a researcher at the Gulf States Institute, to the Lebanese newspaper “L’Orion Le Jour”, especially since the Kingdom is required, in the opinion of observers, to appear as a positive actor regarding the hot files in Region.
“The kingdom finds its interest in settling the Gulf crisis to show goodwill, and that it can take important measures in preparing the ground for dealing with the next Biden administration,” according to France 24 journalist, who specializes in international affairs, Wasim al-Ahmar, noting that this administration “will have a different approach to relations with Saudi Arabia, as the human rights file will be at its heart. ”
The Trump administration is racing against time for diplomatic windfall
The Trump administration is racing against time before it takes power on January 20, 2021, to score diplomatic victories in the final minutes of the state’s life. Observers believe that this administration, which adopted an approach to isolate Iran (despite the nuclear agreement concluded in 2015) and the Palestinians (with the deal of the century), is trying today to consolidate its foreign policy gains as soon as possible before transferring power to Biden, because Trump realizes that rebuilding the Gulf bloc is an important link in that.
Jared Kushner’s visit to the Gulf comes in the wake of the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on Friday in Tehran. This operation placed the region again on a hot plate, which Saudi Arabia was quick to disavow by condemning it. The American side is trying to take advantage of this event and exert more pressure towards “forming a Gulf front” in front of any threat from Tehran, according to Wasim Al-Ahmar’s reading.
Trump is trying, in the last breaths of his term, to consolidate his political gains at home and diplomacy abroad, to prepare for a possible return to the next presidential race. Many observers believe that he will remain at the center of American political life after leaving the White House, and that he will seek to run in 2024. His loss in the presidential race has not yet taken place, and given the nature of his personality, he will remain attached to the hope of one day returning to the White House.
The reunification of the Gulf family, thanks to the mediation of Trump and his close associates, is viewed by the current administration as a valuable victory, which will enhance its balance of gains in US foreign policy since the rich Republican took the presidency. Will Kushner succeed in this mission, or is American pressure alone not enough to settle the Gulf crisis? It is supposed to be resolved in a regional and Arab framework, as Germany called for it, especially since Kuwait initiated the mediation between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.