Saudi Arabia has announced its intention to build a major canal that would isolate Qatar and make it into an island. The work is expected to run over 60 kilometers from the town of Salwa to the Jur al Adid area. Located one kilometer from the border between the two countries, the canal would be 200 meters wide and between 15 and 20 meters deep.
Saudi Arabia’s plans to make its neighbor into an island will not only fail spectacularly, but will also contribute to Qatar’s “victory”, said British analyst Martin Jay.
“Qatar is a winner for successfully resisting the blows made by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt,” said the analyst.
Despite being forced to change its trading partners and to structure new relations with Turkey, Iran and other countries, Qatar managed to reform and modernize its economy, which in turn led the rest of the world to consider its isolation with skepticism, he explained.
According to Jay, the Saudi-led blockade revitalized the isolated country thanks to the actions of the country’s current emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, seen exaggeratedly by the Qataris as an “iconoclastic Che Guevara.”
Likewise, “the Saudis are envious of the gas wealth of Qatar and the role that Al-Jazeera plays in the informational agenda,” he said.
“Qatar has tasted freedom, and by getting rid of Saudi Arabia’s foreign intimidation policy, it is taking advantage of every minute of its shining new state,” according to Jay.
According to Jay, the Saudis believe that, despite the costs of trying to turn Qatar into a failed state, they need a new plan that distracts the media from the domestic problems facing the country. The journalist is of the opinion that “the firm plan to build the canal on the border with Qatar,” valued at almost US $1 billion, “is a definite message to Qatar that any land link with Riyadh will be cut off forever.”
The analyst believes the Saudis are again underestimating their neighbor. In his view, “a great informational coverage” of Al-Jazeera would create “a convenient shadow over the deeper problems of the Kingdom.”
Saudi media is “a machine” that works “very well” for the benefit of the country, according to Jay. The news that Saudi women are allowed to drive is a good example, as the local media exaggerates every detail of the story to give us an idea that Riyadh is a “modern” country. The same applies to the Qatari isolation plan. The Saudis think that “by flooding the regional media with the banality of a construction project” of a water channel, the international media “will copy and publish everything diligently,” Jay said.