Erdogan says Turkey offered to set up base in Saudi Arabia

Marcus Newton
June 17, 2017

On June 11, six days after the decision, Saudi Arabia issued a royal order to take into consideration the humanitarian situation of mixed families [Saudi-Qatar], then the UAE and Bahrain followed its foot-steps.

Trump's hardline rhetoric toward Qatar had the potential for serious real-world repercussions for the Pentagon. However, on the regional front, success has been eluding the prince.

But, the attempted isolation of Qatar and the IS attack on Iran have had the effect of bringing Qatar, Iran and Turkey into a new regional alliance, undermining the Saudi initiative to shape a cohesive Sunni coalition against Iran.

For Doha, to retrieve much from its public position could also be hard. Earlier this week, he met with the Emirati and Saudi foreign ministers in Washington.

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

Qatar said on Thursday the rift with fellow Gulf Arab states, which includes economic sanctions on Doha, had not affected its preparations to host the World Cup.

At the same time, Turkey is eager to maintain workable relations with Iran, Saudi Arabia's foe. It hosts the USA military air base Al-Udeid which is of key importance to the American military presence in the Gulf region itself and further afar.

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The region is in the midst of many conflicts.

"By not leaving diplomatic space for Iran and its Arab neighbors to manage their own differences, Trump has set the United States squarely alongside the House of Saud on a collision course with Iran's Shi'ite regime", wrote Amar Handjani, a senior nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council. Yet, contradictory signals from Washington are making the efforts at stabilizing the situation still more hard.

Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri, chairman of Qatar's national human rights committee, said the measures amounted to "collective punishment" and cited one case of a mother being separated from her baby. That base serves an important role in managing the fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, as well as war in Afghanistan.

Pentagon and State Department officials have since scrambled to reassure the emirate, which hosts the largest u.s. airbase in the Middle East and the command headquarters for operations in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Also, the Pentagon has just signed off on a delivery of F-15 fighter jets to Qatar, allegedly worth $12 billion.

"The United Arab Emirates" ambassador wants President Trump to remove the USA airbase from Qatar.

"There is a conspiracy version that the Qatar crisis was provoked by the negative results of the deal for the US", Dmitry Egorchenkov, an expert at the Institute for Strategic Studies and Prognosis at Moscow-based RUDN University, told RT.

"We have been cooperating with Russian Federation and Iran in the Astana negotiating process, we call on Saudi Arabia and the United States to join the talks", Erdogan said.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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