Key players in the Qatar crisis

Saturday, 17 Jun, 2017

Earlier, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said he expected the situation to be resolved soon, as "this is completely an artificial crisis".

Mr Faki warned that if the rift is allowed to escalate further, it could have adverse political, security and humanitarian implications for the Gulf states, Africa and global peace and security.

They later issued a list of 59 people and 12 groups with links to Qatar, alleging that they have ties to "terrorism".

So in addition to our effort to change Qatari policies, the United States should also lay down some markers with the Saudis, who have their own history of exporting extremism, and insist that they and their partners cease blockading Qatar and seek to resolve their differences diplomatically.

Which isn't to say that the deal doesn't make sense by the twisted logic of US Middle East policy.

A delegation of Saudi, UAE, Bahraini and Egyptian officials visited the International Civil Aviation Organisation headquarters in Montreal, Canada, on Thursday to counter the Qatari claim.

But there is another critical issue raised by this dust-up between USA allies, namely: who decides?

"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.

He said that exercises involving Qatar and its allies would continue.

To show you Trump knew of these concerns, he doubled down on the move to isolate Qatar. As it is tangential to this dispute though, thankfully Israel does not have to choose, and for a variety of reasons, there is little upside for Israel in taking a strong public stance against Qatar. Qatar has repeatedly denied the accusations and called the Saudi-led action an "illegal siege".

In his 2011 book "On China", former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger mentions the ancient Chinese strategy game that emphasizes encircling the opponent, and creating natural attrition or attrition by intervention therewith.

Qatar is a long-standing, albeit problematic, USA ally.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, on a Gulf tour trying to help broker an end to the crisis, defended the deal. Shortly before, Trump had visited Saudi Arabia, celebrating America's ties to the Wahhabi rulers - and also underlining big arms deals with the Saudi Kingdom. It added that Mattis and Attiyah had also discussed the current state of operations against Islamic State and the importance of de-escalating tensions in the Gulf. That's where President Trump and the United States come in: A continued active geopolitical presence requires input on all matters concerning regional disputes, chiefly in an area that continues to harbor American troops and where military operations have been considered a potential flash point for World War III.