Gulf crisis 'an opportunity' for US to hit on both Qatar and Saudi: Haley

Published 29.06.2017 20:38
emAFP Photo/em
AFP Photo

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said Wednesday that the US should use the ongoing Gulf crisis as an opportunity push forward its demands from both Qatar and other Gulf states.

Testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Haley said the U.S. now can use the crisis to "hit on both of them [Qatar and Saudi Arabia]."

She said it should tell Qatar to "quit funding Hamas ... but at the same time, go back to Saudi Arabia and say look you can talk to them [the Qataris] ... you got to cut this out, you've got to stop doing this."

With the support of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain, the Saudis announced on June 5 that they were suspending all ties with Qatar. They closed their airspace to Qatari carriers and blocked the emirate's only land border, a vital route for its food imports. They also ordered all Qataris to leave and their own nationals to return home.

Last week, Riyadh laid down a list of 13 demands for Qatar, including the closure of Al-Jazeera television, a downgrade of diplomatic ties with Iran and the shutdown of a Turkish military base in the emirate. The UAE warned that Qatar should take the demands seriously or face a "divorce" from its Gulf neighbors.

Qatar denied the accusations, calling the move "unjustified." The escalation came two weeks after the website of Qatar's official news agency was allegedly hacked by unknown individuals who reportedly published statements attributed to the country's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

Turkey has been trying to do its best to mediate the situation since the crisis broke out. Ankara displayed its support to Qatar as Parliament approved two deals to deploy troops to an air base in the country.

Ankara's move to deploy troops to the small country is meant to increase stability and to help Turkish peacemaking efforts function better. The deal to deploy troops to Qatari soil, which is expected to improve the country's army and boost military cooperation, was signed in April 2016 in the Gulf country's capital Doha. The deal was approved by Parliament after a period of one year.

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