Sunday, July 23, 2017

"'Miscalculated' Qatar blockade has backfired, says former UK Middle East chief"

From al-Araby:
The Saudi-led Qatar blockade was a miscalculated move that lacked strategy and backfired, the former the head of Britain's Foreign Office Middle East desk said.

The decision to impose an all-out blockade and sanctions on the tiny Gulf emirate backfired, Sir William Patey said, noting instead of the intended regime change, the blockade had in fact boosted the emir's support across the country.

“This has all the hallmarks of a policy that has not been thought through. It does not smack of a considered strategy,” Patey said at roundtable discussion in London organised by the Conservative Middle East Council on Saturday.

“It is not a smart move even if you are sympathetic to their vision. It is a short cut to achieve something quickly and I think they miscalculated and I think they did think that with Trump behind them, Qatar would back down.

"They raised these stakes because they thought Qatar would back down in the end, so I think they were a bit surprised," he said, noting "the Qataris are rallying round their leadership"....MORE
Also at al-Araby:
UAE rejects dialogue with Qatar 'until it revises policies'
Bin Salman 'exploited rival's painkiller addiction' to become Saudi heir