The Arab-Persian Gulf crisis continues to generate intense diplomatic activity at the international level. Indeed, this crisis is causing additional instability in a region that is already shaken by terrorism, armed conflicts and multiple political tensions. Due to the strategic nature of such geographical space, one can only wonder what the long-term consequences of such tensions will be. Because, despite the calls for dialogue, the Gulf states seem ready to continue this arm wrestling initiated last June.
We must broaden our vision of a seemingly regional conflict, due to its inevitably international knock-on effects. France has immediately taken the measure of destabilization risks. It is in the name of its economic, cultural and security ties with all the Gulf countries and from which it derives a certain legitimacy, that France can play a strategic role of mediation.
As early as September 19, Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed in the UN General Assembly forum that multilateralism was the right way out of the conflict. Furthermore, France has appointed Bernard Besancenot, its former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, as mediator. The latter, who was also stationed in Doha, is undoubtedly the most capable person to reconcile antagonistic positions in this context, and help the various stakeholders to build negotiated solutions together.
Following his visit to the United Arab Emirates on November 7– 8 for the inauguration of the Louvres Abu Dhabi, the French President traveled to Saudi Arabia for a surprise visit where he advocated « appeasement » and « dialogue » in the diplomatic crisis surrounding Qatar. Emmanuel Macron also announced his intention to visit Tehran, which would be the first presidential visit since 1976. France clearly wants to maintain its role of arbitrator / mediator and shows intense diplomatic activity in that regard.
The European Union has also been requested to play a mediation role in the crisis, and considers that the boycott of Qatar, banished since June 5 by Ryad and Abu Dhabi, is expensive for all Gulf countries and European partners. Reducing tensions between the various stakeholders is at the very heart of European diplomacy in the coming months.
It is also an issue for those who promote a culture of peace and dialogue internationally. We must now formulate concrete solutions to promote new means of cooperating and think about another way of looking at the future.
Ibrahime Sorel Keita