Niger recalls ambassador to Qatar in solidarity with Arab states
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 11, 2017,
Jun 11, 2017, 23:41
Several Arab countries cut diplomatic ties with Qatar this week in a dispute over regional security.
At a press conference one hour later, Trump declined to condemn the blockade, saving his fire for Qatar, instead.
By contrast, Saudi Arabia and the UAE went to great length to thwart their success., including helping engineer the military coup that in 2013 toppled Mohammed Morsi, a Muslim brother and Egypt's first and only democratically elected president.
The Arab world's biggest powers cut ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of support for extremist militants and Iran, and reopening a festering wound two weeks after US President Donald Trump's demand for states to fight terrorism.
Qatar denies it has backed extremist groups and says the allegations are based on fabricated news and politically motivated.
To the extent officials ever try to pin down who the "terrorists" Qatar is backing are, it tends to be the Muslim Brotherhood, for its role in the democratic revolution in Egypt (which was subsequently overturned by a military coup that the Saudis have endorsed) and the Shi'ite opposition parties in Bahrain, who have long complained of discrimination from the government. "We hope that cooler heads will prevail, that wiser heads will prevail and we will not get to that".
Egyptian, Emirati and Saudi newspapers, none of which are known to be truly independent, reported in recent days that domestic opposition to Qatari emir sheikh Tamim was mounting. An estimated Dollars 1billion ransom paid by Qatar to Tehran backed militias to free members of the royal family kidnapped in Iraq, also sparked anger amongst Qatar's Sunni neighbours.
Russia's top diplomat Sergey Lavrov and Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani met in Moscow Saturday.
"For Qatar, we want you back among the unity of responsible nations", he said.
Launching an extraordinary allegation against a key US military partner, Trump derided what he called Qatar's "extremist ideology in terms of funding" terrorist groups, an accusation Qatar has repeatedly and vehemently denied. Among a barrage of other measures, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have halted all road, air and sea traffic to Qatar. "We ask Qatar and other nations in the region to do more, and do it faster..."
Trump has aligned himself closely with Saudi Arabia and an allied bloc of Arab countries since taking office.
"The Commission hereby reiterates that all of the Al Jazeera Network's channels must be removed from all hotel rooms and touristic facilities and furnished residential units, totally and entirely, including the TV lists kept within", the circular said. "I think the Americans would choose to side with Saudi Arabia over any other country in the region".