Three Gulf States and Egypt Sever Ties with Qatar
by Stephen Lendman
On Monday, the Saudi state-run press agency said the action was taken to “protect its national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism,” adding:
The dispute is over “gross violations committed by authorities in Qatar over the past years.”
Saudi state-run media accused Qatar of “betray(ing)” other Arab countries at a time they called for unity against Iran – stressed during Trump’s visit to Riyadh.
Qatar was accused of “spreading chaos,” funding terrorism and supporting Tehran. Other Gulf states made similar comments.
Together they said Qatar was no longer welcome in the alliance waging war on Yemen because of Doha “practices that strengthen terrorism, and its support to organizations in Yemen, including al-Qaeda and Daesh, as well as dealings with” Houthi fighters combating elements Riyadh supports.
Qatar’s Foreign Ministry called the measures taken “unjustified…based on claims and allegations that have no basis in fact.”
On May 25, Newsweek quoted Qatari emir al-Thani, allegedly “attacking US foreign policy, praising Iran, and vowing to withdraw its diplomatic representation from several Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia,” supposedly adding:
Relations with Israel are “good,” while calling Iran a regional “stability guarantor.” Allegedly al Thani called Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, urging “better relations.” If true, it explains the reaction from Riyadh and other Gulf States.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain gave Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave their countries.
They closed their borders, air space and halted sea traffic with Qatar, urging “all brotherly countries and companies to do the same.”
It’s unclear if Kuwait intends similar action. Egypt closed its airspace and seaports to Qatari aircraft and ships.
Secretary of State Tillerson issued a statement, saying “(w)e certainly would encourage the parties to sit down together and address these differences.”
“If there’s any role that we can play in terms of helping them address those, we think it is important that the (Gulf states) remain united,” adding:
He sees no “significant impact, if any impact at all, on the unified fight against terrorism in the region or globally.”
“All of those parties you mentioned have been quite unified in the fight against terrorism and the fight against Daesh, ISIS, and have expressed that most recently in the summit in Riyadh.”
Fact: Washington, NATO, Israel and the Saudi-led Gulf States sponsor regional terrorism, using ISIS, al Nusra and other groups to serve their interests.
The dispute with Qatar escalated after an alleged hack of the nation’s state-run news agency. The Qatari regime denied comments attributed to emir al-Thani, expressing support for Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and Israel, along with suggesting Trump’s presidency is doomed.
Qatar is home to the Pentagon’s Central Command, thousands of US military personnel stationed in the country. During his visit to Riyadh, Trump met with emir al-Thani, saying Washington’s “relationship (with the country) is extremely good.”
In 2014, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from Doha over concerns about Qatari support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
Things were later resolved. The current dispute appears more serious.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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