Anti-Qatar sanctions to stay in place
Saudi Arabia and its allies have announced that a deal reached between the US and Qatar over battling terrorism is “insufficient” while stressing that anti-Doha sanctions will remain in place. On Tuesday, Qatar and the US signed a deal aimed at combating “terrorism financing” during US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Doha.
“Today, Qatar is the first country to sign a memorandum of agreement with the US, and we call on the countries imposing the siege against Qatar to join us as signatories to this MoU,” said Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. The announcement was made during a joint press conference held in the Qatari capital Doha following a meeting between Tillerson and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
“Together the United States and Qatar will do more to track down funding sources, will do more to collaborate and share information, and will do more to keep the region and our homeland safe,” said Tillerson. After the deal was announced, Saudi Arabia and its allies released a statement noting that the deal was “the result of pressure and repeated calls over the past years by the four states and their partners upon Qatar to stop supporting terrorism.”
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain all cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5, after officially accusing it of “sponsoring terrorism.” On June 23, Saudi Arabia and its allies released a 13-point list of demands, including the severance of all Qatar’s ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement. The closing down of a Turkish military base in Qatar is one of the demands on the list.
“This step is insufficient,” said the statement published by SPA, adding that Qatari authorities “cannot be trusted,” and the quartet would “carefully monitor the seriousness of Qatari authorities in combating all forms of financing, supporting and harboring terrorism.” Meanwhile, Qatar has announced that more Turkish troops had arrived at a military base in Doha.
“This defense cooperation between Doha and Ankara is part of their common defense vision to support anti-terrorism efforts and maintain security and stability in the region,” said a statement released by Qatar’s Armed Forces. It didn’t mention the number of newly arrived Turkish forces. Earlier in the month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed that his country will remain loyal to Qatar and that he was willing to close the base if Doha requested to do so.