Monday, 17 August 2020
A group of UK MPs have expressed concerns over revealed plans by Saudi Arabia to invade Qatar back in 2017, according to IUNW.
Kate Osamor MP, Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP, Alistair Carmichael, Baroness Goudie, Baroness Brinton, Jim Shannon MP, Tommy Sheppard MP, Catherine West MP and Former Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn MP have asked the UK government to investigate the matter and take appropriate actions.
The politicians’ concerns follow a recent revelation in Foreign Policy Magazine that Saudi Arabia’s King Salman had potential plans to invade Qatar back in 2017. The article states that during a telephone call on 6 June, 2017, between King Salman and US President Trump, the Saudi ruler made such a proposal.
The letter has called for the dispute between Saudi Arabia and Qatar to be resolved by peaceful means, and that military actions against a sovereign country and ally of the United Kingdom would undermine Middle East stability and threaten peace across the Gulf region.
The group of MPs furthermore added that Qatar has contributed towards defusing conflicts across the Middle East, and has functioned as a mediator for peace initiatives. They added that Qatar is a strategic ally to the UK and plays an important role in shaping UK policies in the region.
They additionally urged the UK Government to confirm its commitment to finding a peaceful solution to the dispute, and requested reassurance that it does not support the current blockade by Saudi Arabia, which has been in place since 2017.
Their letter also condemned any plan for armed conflict in the region and expressed their opposition of any escalation or invasion, emphasising that such actions could damages UK interests.
They urged the UK government to confirm it would take action against the aggressor in such an instance by imposing sanctions and stopping arms deals and military cooperation, and would press both the UN, EU and its NATO allies to take similar action.
MEPs raise concern on Saudi plans to attack Qatar, call for action
A group of MEPs have followed suit their UK counterparts, and also raised concerns about the potential Saudi plans to invade Qatar.
Several public statements and tweets on the subject have been made recently. Italian MEP Fulvio Martusciello, raised concerns last week and called for immediate action to contain any future escalation. He tweeted “Very concerned and alarmed that Saudi Arabia has considered invading Qatar. This is totally refused and will endanger stability in the Gulf region and the Middle East. The EU must stand firm against any attempts by KSA and UAE to attack any sovereign States. #GulfPeace.”
In addition, several MEPs, such as Urmas Paet, Hilde Vautmans, Malik Azmani, and Bart Groothuis have written to the Vice-President of the Commission and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
The group said that “It became public knowledge last August 6, 2020, that during an official call established on June 6, 2017, between the United States President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia King Salman, a proposal to invade Qatar was presented by the latter. The US Administration immediately rejected the Saudi proposal and requested the formal mediation by the Kuwaiti authorities within the frame of the Gulf Cooperation Council.”
They added in their question that for such a volatile region as the Middle East, a potential invasion of a sovereign state like Qatar by its neighbour Saudi Arabia would produce an unprecedented level of destabilization, triggering a potential full-scale regional conflict with unknown consequences, not only for the region but for the European Union as well.
Their question also called for answers to clarify whether the EEAS was aware of Saudi Arabia’s intentions to invade the State of Qatar?
Furthermore, the MEPs have also asked whether EEAS would be able to engage actively in helping to pursue a diplomatic solution.
Their question also stated, “Will the VP/HR, with the objective to enable a pre-emptive peaceful solution, seek to develop an active diplomatic engagement to constrain further similar geopolitical actions by Saudi Arabia and will the VP/HR consult with countries as Israel or Jordan to enable a positive and standing solution for a peaceful environment in the Middle East Region?
Update: This article has been updated to reflect additional reactions from MEPs.
The Brussels Times