The three-year long term of the Saudi alliance against Qatar is coming to an end. The blockade may end in a few weeks. The US indicated on Wednesday. A senior State Department official said that talks had progressed. Flexibility has been seen between the parties concerned.
David Schenker, the Trump administration’s top diplomat for the Middle East, said that there has been no fundamental change in the negotiations so that a quick resolution can be reached.
David Schenker spoke on the issue while attending a virtual event at Brookings Institution in Washington. “I don’t want to go into full diplomatic discussion,” he said. However, there is some progress. I think it may take a few weeks to lift the blockade.
The US has long sought to form a united front against Saudi Arabia’s regional rival, Iran, to influence Middle East politics. However, the Saudi coalition’s anti-Qatar blockade thwarted that effort. Instead of forming an alliance against Tehran, Riyadh became embroiled in conflict with influential allies like Doha. In such a situation, the United States and Kuwait took mediation initiatives against Qatar to remove the blockade of the Saudi alliance. Arbitration is apparently being successful.
Washington feels that Iran will benefit from the conflict between its allies in the region. As a result, the Trump administration wants to put its allies on the same anti-Iranian platform at any cost.
David Schenker said that there had been no fundamental change yet. But the United States continues to try. In this regard, we have seen some flexibility from the parties concerned. As a result, we hope to be able to bring the two sides together and end this conflict.
David Shenker said that US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were also involved in the US diplomatic initiative.
Trump, known as a close to the Saudi-UAE-Israel belt, initially took a stand against Qatar. However, in the end he moved away from that position considering the strategic aspect. Qatar is home to the largest US military base in the Middle East. The base, called Al Uday, is of particular importance to Washington.
On 5 June 2016, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt severed ties with Qatar over allegations of alleged terrorism support. However, Qatar has denied the allegations of the Saudi alliance. In contrast, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdurrahman Ale Sani has said that the blockade is fatal to declaring a bloodless war. In his words, several Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia have declared war on Doha.
Later, the Saudi coalition called for 13 points to lift the blockade. Notable among these were the closure of Al Jazeera television, the withdrawal of Turkish military bases from Qatar, and the break-up of relations with the Muslim Brotherhood. However, Qatar leaned more towards Riyadh’s regional rivals Turkey and Iran, rejecting the Saudi coalition’s claim. The Trump administration is trying to end the blockade by forming this anti-Iranian coalition. Source: Al Jazeera