Trump urges Qatar leader to resolve diplomatic crisis with Arab nations

Pauline Gross
June 8, 2017

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that the Turkish parliament "approved a draft bill allowing its troops to be deployed to a Turkish military base in Qatar", apparently in support of the Qatari government.

Earlier Tuesday, Trump appeared to cut ties with Qatar in a series of tweets blaming the nation for the "funding of Radical Ideology".

Trump added his broadside against Iran, which the USA has designated as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1984.

He later tweeted: "Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!"

Our great and glorious ally Saudi Arabia is done messing around.

Qatar denounced today that the ultimatum that was given by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain to its citizens to leave those countries is a violation of human rights and requires UN intervention.

"The president offered to help the parties resolve their differences, including through a meeting at the White House if necessary", Trump's office said after the call.

Riyadh says it's because of Qatar's longstanding support for political Islam groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and its relatively strong relations with Iran.

Qatar has always been the Puck of the Gulf States, merrily skipping along, defying its neighbors in pursuit of its own often outrageous aims.

It marks the first attack in Iran claimed by the extremist group, which is at war with Iranian-backed forces in Syria and Iraq.

For Trump, the rift has emerged as a key test of his goal to unite the region around destroying IS and other extremist groups, and containing Iranian influence. Qatar can not and will not meet them, meaning a protracted crisis on the Persian Gulf is inevitable.

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"So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off", Trump said in a series of tweets. The rift comes less than a month after Trump visited Saudi Arabia and called for Muslim nations to unite against extremism .

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Washington condemned the attacks, with State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert saying: "The depravity of terrorism has no place in a peaceful, civilised world".

China has never taken sides in Middle East politics.

It was unclear how Trump's broadside against Qatar and any resulting diplomatic fallout might affect the U.S. military presence in Qatar. Plus, Qatar is seen as soft on Iran with which it shares the world's largest gas field.

"It's a mixed bag with Qatar", said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, summing up America's strategic conundrum.

"If there's any role that we can play in terms of helping them address those, we think it is important that the GCC remains unified, " Tillerson said, referring to the Gulf Cooperation Council, a regional club of nations.

The Pentagon cited no immediate effects from the instability on its operations. Qatar's US ambassador, Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani, told The Associated Press his country is counting on Washington to persuade Saudi Arabia and others to back down. The UAE announced Wednesday that "expressing sympathy, inclination or favoritism toward Qatar" is punishable by three to 15 years in prison, alongside a minimum fine of 500,000 dirhams, about $136,000.

On Tuesday morning around 11 Qatar Airways passengers from Goa, scheduled to travel to UAE and Saudi Arabia via Qatar, were immediately reissued tickets on other flights, including via Mumbai, by the airline.

If Qatar is economically weakened or decides to retaliate against Trump's 140-character allegations, it has leverage. If the USA is not in its corner, Qatar has few options. "Our relationship with the US speaks for itself".

Saudi Arabia views China as a potentially important supplier of missiles and weapons technologies and signed a deal to increase nuclear cooperation in 2012.

"We strongly condemn terrorism, the fight against which is a common interest".

Other reports by GizPress

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