Published: Sat, June 17, 2017
Markets | By Terence Owen

Erdogan calls on US, Saudi Arabia to join Astana talks


Significantly the defense and state departments tried to be neutral in the conflict.

And earlier this week the United States agreed a $12- billion sale to Qatar of "state-of-the-art" F-15 fighters. Boeing, the prime contractor on the sale, declined to comment.

How can Qatar end the crisis?

Spokeswoman Heather Nauert says Tillerson will stay to work the phones to try to persuade Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to settle their differences.

Further intricacies exist in this complicated relationship, and there are doubts regarding the validity of both the Saudi-backed claim of Qatar's malice, and the Qatari defense of pursuing its own national security interests.

"Presumably the US could have delayed the deal if they'd wanted to, although I don't think there's a great connect between sales and foreign policy".

Pentagon and State Department officials have since scrambled to reassure the emirate, which hosts the largest USA airbase in the Middle East and the command headquarters for operations in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

According to Otaiba, in Qatar the USA airbase has given cover for the country's government to support instability unabated in the Middle East.

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A Qatari official accused Saudi Arabia and its allies Friday of imposing a "siege" on his country with sanctions he said were having a more devastating effect than the Berlin Wall.

Leaders pointed out that the problems should be resolved through dialogue and negotiation, not through embargo, as they reaffirmed their support for the fight against terror.

Among the punitive measures, Qatar Airways is banned from the airspace of its neighbours, Gulf states gave Qataris 14 days to get out, and Saudi closed its land border through which much of Qatar's food supply crossed.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud arrives on the tarmac to welcome President Donald Trump as he arrives aboard Air Force One at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017.

Conservative Gulf neighbors have long viewed Qatar's foreign policy with suspicion, especially its refusal to shun Shi'ite Iran, and resented its state-funded broadcaster Al Jazeera for airing critical views from across the region.

Dr Al Jaber also reviewed with Mr Lavrov the list of designated terrorist organisations and individuals supported by Qatar, which was issued by Saudi Arabia and the UAE last week.

The move is particularly striking because it comes while the Trump administration publicly struggles to figure out how to handle the wealthy nation, which houses one of the largest American military bases in the Middle East but also maintains ties to groups like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. During Mr. Trump's recent visit to Riyadh, he made a point of telling reporters during a photo spray with the Qatari emir that he was going to sell Qatar "big handsome weapons".

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