Trump seeks return to political polarization in Gulf rift

17 June, 2017, 05:47 | Author: Elaine Woods
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The sale also occurs against the backdrop of a dispute between Doha and its Gulf neighbors concerning Qatar's direct support for terrorism.

Vladimir Chukov told FOCUS Radio's Good Morning Bulgaria.According to him, there were very optimistic hopes for a quick solution to Gulf tensions after Turkey joined with attempts to resolve the crisis.

Mr Faki warned that if the rift is allowed to escalate further, it could have adverse political, security and humanitarian implications for the Gulf states, Africa and worldwide peace and security.

Saudi Arabia and allies have imposed a political and economic "blockade" on Qatar, in protest at Doha's alleged support for Islamist extremist groups as well as over its ties to Shiite Iran. Qatar has also sought to warm up relations with Iran, Riyadh's arch-rival.

Which isn't to say that the deal doesn't make sense by the twisted logic of US Middle East policy. Sunni monarchies like the UAE likely rallied behind Saudi leadership and against Qatar as they fear uprisings at home.

But there is another critical issue raised by this dust-up between US allies, namely: who decides?

Cavusoglu visited Doha on Wednesday where he called for dialogue after meeting Qatar's emir and foreign minister ahead of his Saudi stop.

After the visit, the Saudi regime speedily reviewed its regional relations on the basis of reproducing the classic American policies in the Middle East that prevailed during the cold war era.

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For his part, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan KurtulmuĊŸ said that there are high chances of Erdogan soon visiting Qatar.

This is why it's so odd that Defense Secretary James Mattis would sign a $12 billion deal to sell F-15 fighter jets to the Qataris on Wednesday. All Qatar has to do is to come clean on its terror links, and stick to its commitments as a GCC member to protect regional security.

The statement marked the first confirmation from the USA that Tillerson, who has met with top officials from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in recent days, is formally trying to mediate a solution to the Qatar conflict. The F-15 deal could give Qatar the sense that it can defy its Gulf neighbors and still enjoy a good relationship with the US, despite Trump's own statements that he backs the Saudi position.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, right, pats the Foreign Secretary.

The State Department describes this sale as fermenting US efforts to "strengthen the security and defense architecture of the region". Thus even if Israel wants to see Qatar isolated and taken down a peg, throwing it under the bus may end up being counterproductive.

A Qatari official accused Saudi Arabia and its allies Friday of imposing a "siege" on his country with sanctions he said were having a more devastating effect than the Berlin Wall.

"The mixed messages the administration is sending on many national security issues is baffling", Sen.

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