Qatar after two crises ... An arms race and failed reforms

From Dubai, Saif Al Abdullah

The Gulf crisis and boycotts have pushed Qatar towards making decisions that have proved misguided Qatari leadership between seeking international and Western sympathy through non-serious reforms and entering an arms race.



The market mogul website, in a report by James Lynch, deputy director of Amnesty International's International Affairs Division, said that the Gulf crisis had radically pushed Qatar to increase its arms purchases, the latest of which was a $ 12 billion deal for US F-15 fighter jets and $ 7 billion for naval vessels from Italy. 

At the same time. Britain’s Department for International Trade reported that since 2015 Qatar had moved from the world’s sixth largest to the third largest buyer of military equipment. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) confirmed that Qatari arms purchases had increased a whopping 282% since 2012.



 Lynch notes that the decision to change Qatar's defense and security policy was made in 2014, following the Gulf ambassadors' withdrawal from Doha, when Qatar quickly bought $ 24 billion worth of weapons.



In the same context, the report confirms that Qatar has tried since the outbreak of the Gulf crisis to adapt social reforms to gain international sympathy, but with no actual results since the adoption of the law of permanent residence for foreigners and the lifting of visa requirements for nationals of 80 countries failed to convince the international public opinion or organizations that Qatar had already amended its attitude regarding the violation of the rights of foreign workers.



Amnesty International's deputy director of international affairs says the verdict on Qatar's radical reform will be at a crucial hearing in November by the International Labor Organization, which will evaluate whether Doha has complied with the promises to improve living and working conditions for migrant workers or not.



 Lynch added that the ILO had warned Doha that it would establish a commission of inquiry if Qatar failed to act by November. These committees are among the most powerful tools of the ILO to ensure compliance with international treaties. Only 13 such committees have been established by the United Nations in its century-long history. The last such committee was established in 2010 to push Zimbabwe to fulfill its obligations.



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