Qatar says blockade by Arab states is collective punishment

Illustration by Tanmoy Chakraborty

Meanwhile, U.S. military spokespeople have highlighted the importance of not disrupting critical operations conducted from Al-Udeid, and have gone out of their way to demonstrate continuity in our security partnership.

However, Trump's siding with Saudi Arabia is not as smooth as it seems on the surface.

Qatar houses the forward headquarters of the US Central Command. However, on the regional front, success has been eluding the prince.

Further intricacies exist in this complicated relationship, and there are doubts regarding the validity of both the Saudi-backed claim of Qatar's malice, and the Qatari defense of pursuing its own national security interests.

For Doha, to retrieve much from its public position could also be hard. After Saudi Arabia closed its land border with Qatar, Turkey and Iran flew in hundreds of tons of goods to help stave off potential food shortages.

Al Jazeera, with its independent coverage, has been unpalatable to the Gulf monarchies for some time now.

"The secretary of state will continue his efforts to de-escalate tensions in the Middle East region through in-person meetings and phone conversations with Gulf and regional leaders", the State Department said in a statement.

Qataris say the deal demonstrates the "long-standing commitment" Qatar has to working with the U.S. Today, the state at least has played a more active role in rolling up these networks and shutting down their financing than it did in the early 2000s. Yet, contradictory signals from Washington are making the efforts at stabilizing the situation still more hard.

Merri also urged Qatar to "immediately move internationally to ensure the end of this siege, by going to the Security Council or other United Nations mechanisms".

The Pentagon insisted that the conflict had "no impact" on their operations from the airbase. In November, under the administration of former President Barack Obama, the United States approved a possible sale of up to 72 F-15QA aircraft to Qatar for $21.1 billion.

The recent Arab-Islamic-U.S. summit in the Saudi capital was a turning point in the most accurate sense of the word and the before-and-after formula lies perfectly here.

Qatar is a long-standing, albeit problematic, US ally. The contradictory statement prompted the Pentagon to quickly issue a clarification. Al Udeid Air Base is home to more than 11,000 USA and coalition troops.

Trump, however, has been taking a more enthusiastic, anti-Doha tone.

He stopped short of directly criticising Saudi Arabia and said that as "the elder statesman of the Gulf", Salman should resolve the matter.

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. "Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!"

For his part, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan KurtulmuĊŸ said that there are high chances of Erdogan soon visiting Qatar. With all the interventions, there is a great possibility that the other Gulf countries will see reason and ease the sanctions on Qatar.

Following these states, Mauritius, Mauritania, the Maldives and Libya's eastern-based government also suspended diplomatic relations with Qatar.

"She has lost four years of study", he said.

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