Turkish troops arrive in Qatar amid Gulf tensions

Posted June 22, 2017

Bahrain this week, in a bid to pressure the United States to adopt the Saudi-UAE definition of terrorism that includes any group, violent or not, that challenges government or potentially questions their autocratic rule, expelled Qatari military personnel working at a USA military base on the island state. But that may not be his biggest problem. How many weeks it will be until the Saudi-Qatar land borders open up again?

Saudi Arabia has apparently set a high bar for ending the current Gulf crisis, as Doha might find that Riyadh's conditions are hard to fulfill.

Al-Thani stressed that the solution must be primarily diplomatic and through dialogue and not through the blockade as the State of Qatar's choices always depend on diplomatic options. The country is tiny but rich, and nobody is getting killed there yet.

Qatar has denied accusations by its neighbours that it funds terrorism, foments regional instability or has cosied up to their enemy Iran. "Like Qatar, they are mainly importers".

On Wednesday, Trump discussed the Qatar row with Saudi Arabia's newly-appointed crown prince, on a call during which he also offered his congratulations to the new heir to the throne. "There must be some people who are wise in Qatar and who will prevail, hopefully within the ruling family".

Yet, it has been exempted from the ire of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Qatar hosts a United States military base, Al-Udeid, which more than 11,000 USA and coalition forces are deployed or assigned to and from which more than 100 aircraft operate.

Turkish troops arrive in Qatar amid Gulf tensions
Turkish troops arrive in Qatar amid Gulf tensions

Asked about what effect the blockade has had on Qatar Airways, Al Baker said, "We have had a lot of cancellations, especially to the four countries that did this illegal blockade, but we have found new markets and this is our growth strategy".

The Turkish-Qatari agreement was signed two years ago, and there are only about a hundred Turkish soldiers on the base, but it will accommodate 5,000 eventually.

Only 4 per cent of QNB's deposits come from the Gulf states involved in the blockade and the bank has seen minimal withdrawals, the official said. Either way, the lack of clarity on what they're actually accusing Qatar of, as the laundry list of allegations continues to grow, isn't lending itself to a negotiated settlement.

He added: "As far as we are concerned the case is very clear". They are also stabbing each other in the front, the sides and the unmentionables.

Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E. and Bahrain also closed their airspace to Qatari aircraft, and gave Qatari diplomats 48 hours to leave their respective countries. The diplomatic crisis is a response to Qatar's financial support for Islamic extremist terrorists, according to Saudi Arabia - something the USA has expressed concern about as well, but Qatar has denied.

She called on all parties to fight terrorism and meet commitments they made when President Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia last month. Indeed, he takes the credit for it.

"We understand a list of demands has been prepared and coordinated by the Saudis, Emiratis, Egyptians and Bahrainis", the Tillerson statement said.