Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has threatened Qatar saying that ‘Qatar should send its army to Syria and provide financial aid to the United States military campaign here. If that is not possible then Qatar should give up the United States protective shield and be prepared to lose its regime’. Qatar has reacted on the threat and has appealed to resolve the Syria issue via dialogue. Thus, the country does not seem to be in support of the United States and the Gulf countries in the Syrian crisis.
Two days ago, US President Donald Trump met with the French Prime minster Emanuel Macron, who is on his United States visit. President Trump had lashed out at the Gulf countries while speaking to the reporters on various subjects.
‘Some of the Gulf countries are ultra rich. These countries are safe due to the security provided by the United States. However, the governments in these countries will not be able to sustain even for a week if the United States withdrew this security. These countries need to shoulder the responsibility of the Syrian conflict as repayment to the United States for their security’, Trump had warned the Middle Eastern countries.
Trump mentioned Iran at this time and warned, ‘After the defeat of IS in Syria, if the Iranian influence is to be countered, there is a need for the Gulf countries to take a comprehensive stand’.
The US President avoided naming any country directly in his message. Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir claimed that the US President was referring to Qatar who is trying to shirk its responsibilities in the Syrian conflict.
‘Qatar should contribute in the expenses of the United States military deployment in Syria. Qatar should also send its own army for the Syrian campaign’, suggested the Saudi Foreign Minister. If Qatar does not pick its share in the Syrian conflict the United States will withdraw its army deployed in Qatar, pointed out the Saudi Foreign Minister. In such a scenario, even a week would be enough to overthrow the current regime in Qatar, threatened Foreign Minister Jubeir.
The United States has its largest base in the world at ‘Al-Udeid’ in Qatar. The base which is near capital city Doha has more than 10,000 soldiers, fighter jets, bombers and surveillance aircrafts of the United States deployed there. The military base in Qatar is used for all the Syrian, Iraqi and the other important United States military campaigns.
Therefore, Qatar is believed to be an ally of the United States. The United States administration has been complaining that Qatar was failing in fulfilling its responsibilities. Qatar is the richest country in the Middle East on the basis of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Kuwait, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia are the next on this list.
Despite this Qatar has not taken any important stand in the Syrian conflict. Thus, President Trump seems to have targeted this Middle Eastern country when he mentioned the rich countries in the Gulf. The country has taken a cautious stance on this and has appealed to resolve the Syrian issue through negotiations. Foreign Minister of Qatar Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani declared that Qatar is willing to provide financial aid for the humanitarian assistance in Syria. This makes it evident that Qatar is not willing to give up its neutral stance over the Syrian conflict.
Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt had imposed a blockade over Qatar with allegations of supporting the terrorists. Iran and Turkey had helped the country to break the shackles of the sanctions by supplying essential commodities for the people in Qatar. There is no possibility of Qatar joining the United States and Saudi against these countries in Syrian conflict.
There are indications of a strong United States action against Qatar with support from Saudi and the other Gulf countries, in the Saudi Foreign Minister’s threat.