Erdoğan discuss Gulf crisis with Macron, Qatari emir, calls for dialogue

Alicia Cross
June 17, 2017

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and about a half-dozen other countries cut off diplomatic relations with Doha, accusing it of sponsoring terror groups and destabilizing the Middle East. (Not incidentally, it renders President Trump's bashing of Qatar in public statements and on Twitter largely irrelevant).

"For 22 years, Qatar has adopted policies that undermined regional and global security, through the direct or indirect finance of terrorism or by supporting media outlets that enable terrorist groups to promote their twisted, violent and extremist ideologies", Dr Al Jaber said.

So in addition to our effort to change Qatari policies, the United States should also lay down some markers with the Saudis, who have their own history of exporting extremism, and insist that they and their partners cease blockading Qatar and seek to resolve their differences diplomatically.

The International Olympic Committee said on Thursday it hoped the diplomatic and economic boycott of Qatar by its Gulf neighbours would not affect sports development in the region.

Cavusoglu told reporters in Kuwait one day after an official visit to Qatar's capital, Doha, that Turkey preferred that the crisis be resolved through dialogue with all parties coming together, and that Turkey was ready to do its part as a mediator. Saudi Arabia has since launched a concerted effort to isolate the tiny, peninsular nation.

Shortly after Saudi Arabia announced cutting ties with Qatar over alleged links to terrorism several African countries including Senegal and Mauritania followed suit.

USA air force Secretary Heather Wilson also told a Senate committee on Tuesday she was not concerned about the US airbase in Qatar and added that US operations continued without interruption.

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The Qatari ambassador to the USA tweeted a photo of the signing.

In his 2011 book "On China", former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger mentions the ancient Chinese strategy game that emphasizes encircling the opponent, and creating natural attrition or attrition by intervention therewith. First, it's a bit much to single out Qatar for not doing enough to curb terrorism when similar accusations can be leveled at its neighbors, perhaps especially Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, the UAE Minister of State Dr Sultan Al Jaber discussed the actions against Qatar with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow.

Regardless of the timeframe that might emerge in the Gulf crisis, Saudi Arabia and the UAE is seeking to impose a role function on Qatar; for the moment, that falls short of creating a large-scale war with Iran, where the recent terrorist attacks were seen as implementation of a threat by Saudi Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud to move the battle to Iran.

America's largest air base in the Middle East, Al-Udeid, is in Qatar.

Qatar's sudden alienation has raised concerns for Pakistan, which like Saudi Arabi, is a USA ally frequently accused of funding terrorism. The young Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, has been endeavouring to raise the global profile of Doha, independent of Saudi Arabia. This news has been reported by CNN International.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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