Tillerson cancels trip to Mexico to work on Qatar crisis

  • Tillerson cancels trip to Mexico to work on Qatar crisis

Tillerson cancels trip to Mexico to work on Qatar crisis

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.

"Everything depends on how long Qatar will insist on its stance, and how much it would cave in [to Saudi demands]". Qatar's ambassador to the United States, Meshal Hamad al-Thani, posted a picture of the signing ceremony on Twitter.

The Pentagon issued a press statement saying the sale would increase US-Qatari security cooperation. "Our militaries are like brothers".

Reuters on Thursday quoted one Qatari official saying, "This is of course proof that USA institutions are with us, but we have never doubted that".

The U.S. relationship with Qatar has always been love-hate. Significantly the defense and state departments tried to be neutral in the conflict.

A Qatari defense ministry source said the deal was for 36 jets.

The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs has called for "cooler" heads in Qatar, which means the country should come to its senses because the GCC block is losing its patience with Qatar's foreign policy.

The US President's visit to Riyadh last month may have emboldened Saudi Arabia to move against Qatar, analysts say.

Iran and Qatar also share the world's largest gas field, which Iran calls South Pars and Qatar calls the North Field.

A European diplomat in the Gulf said the timing of the deal appeared coincidental.

But there is another critical issue raised by this dust-up between USA allies, namely: who decides? Mattis formerly oversaw the US military's Central Command, whose forward operating base is at the vast al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar. With more than 100 aircraft in operation and more than 11,000 USA and coalition forces deployed, the base is co-ordinating, controlling and overseeing the ongoing missions in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. Al Udeid Air Base is home to more than 11,000 USA and coalition troops.

"The Muslim majority nations in Africa feel that they need to make a decision for or against Qatar", Annette Weber, an expert on the Middle East and Africa at the German Institute for global and Security Affairs said. To consolidate his grip on power in Saudi Arabia, MBS needs success on regional, domestic and worldwide fronts.

Leaders pointed out that the problems should be resolved through dialogue and negotiation, not through embargo, as they reaffirmed their support for the fight against terror.

However, the USA might not want to go so far in inflaming tensions between the Gulf States as it has 10,000 troops at al-Udeid base near Doha, its largest military base in the region.

Earlier, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said he expected the situation to be resolved soon, as "this is completely an artificial crisis". Qatar's expulsion of Hamas leaders from Doha following American and Gulf pressure over Qatari support for terrorism means that Hamas is now as internationally isolated as it has ever been and can not count on the same level of financial support from Qatar that it has enjoyed.

"Although the kingdom is a party in this crisis, we know that King Salman is a party in resolving it", the Turkish minister said. It straddles their offshore Persian Gulf border and accounts for almost all of Qatar's gas production and about 35% of Iran's output.

And as the stand-off deepens with some African countries including Senegal siding with Saudi Arabia and severing ties with Qatar, the Gambia has opted to remain neutral.

The man "has been prosecuted in the state of Qatar, by the law of the state of Qatar, and he's on the global list, and he's sanctioned by the state of Qatar", Al Thani said.