Qatar’s foreign minister said the tiny emirate has U.S. backing to resolve the ongoing crisis with a Saudi-led alliance, but the country is also prepared should its Gulf Arab neighbors make military moves.
Only Qatar has agreed to U.S. calls for peace talks:
The Trump administration is encouraging all sides to end the dispute and has offered to host talks at the Camp David presidential retreat, but only Qatar has agreed to the dialogue, Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Al-Thani said Friday. Four countries in the Saudi-led bloc severed diplomatic and transport links with Qatar in June, accusing it of backing extremist groups, a charge Doha has repeatedly denied. Saudi Arabia closed Qatar’s only land border.
FM Sheikh Mohammed will meet with U.S. leadership on his trip:
Sheikh Mohammed said he will meet Secretary of State Rex Tillerson next week after having talks this week with Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker and ranking member Ben Cardin as well as other congressional leaders.
Leadership in the region has been ‘reckless:’
“The Middle East needs to be addressed as the top priority of the foreign policy agenda of the United States,” he told reporters in Washington on Friday. “We see a pattern of irresponsibility and a reckless leadership in the region, which is just trying to bully countries into submission.”
U.S. forces and other allies fully support Qatar:
“We have enough friends in order to stop them from taking these steps,” but “there is a pattern of unpredictability in their behavior so we have to keep all the options on the table for us,” he said. On the U.S. military presence, “if there is any aggression when it comes to Qatar, those forces will be affected,” he added.