Riyadh's 'stubborn personalisation' to blame for Gulf crisis, says veteran Saudi journalist
Veteran Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has said the "personal stubbornness" of the kingdom's authorities has been to blame for the persistence of a boycott of neighbouring Qatar.
Khashoggi made the comments on Saturday during an interview with German broadcaster Deutsche Welle's Arabic-language service.
"What is going in my country - and the Gulf in general - is an illogical policy that does not match with the best interests known by any strategic expert," Khashoggi, who lives in self-imposed exile in the US, said.
"Saudi officials must have strategists around them to help them move in the right direction,"
Khashoggi said that he was pessimistic of a positive breakthrough in the crisis next year because of what he called the Saudi "personalisation" of the conflict and the kingdom's "hostility to the Arab Spring".
"There has been a severe personalisation of the crisis as seen by the insults that have been thrown - unfortunately from my country. This suggests that any proposed solution will be rejected because this is an issue of personal stubbornness,"
"Qatar gave a small window for the Arab Spring to breathe. Saudi Arabia and its allies think they have succeeded in closing this window," he said.
On June 5, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and economic ties with gas-rich Qatar, accusing it of links to extremist groups and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Qatar has denied the allegations and repeatedly called for dialogue to end the crisis.
The Saudi-led bloc demanded Qatar shutter the flagship Al Jazeera news network and London-based The New Arab, sealed its land border and barred Qatari flights from using Saudi airspace.
Qatar's Emir Tamim al-Thani has called for a negotiated settlement to the damaging dispute, but insisted any solution should not come at the expense of "Doha's sovereignty and dignity".
The four nations have demanded that Doha accepts a list of 13 conditions to open a dialogue.
Mediation efforts to resolve the rift, mainly led by the emir of fellow Gulf state Kuwait, have so far failed to break the deadlock.