Sunday, 25 June 2017

The Qatar crisis - a US follow-through?

        On 23 June 2017 Fox News reported that President Trump was considering calling a Camp David-style summit to address growing tensions among long-established US allies in the Arab world and renew his call for those nations to confront the “crisis of Islamic extremism.” 

        It was on 5 June that Saudi Arabia, Egypt and five other Muslim countries severed diplomatic and commercial relations with Qatar, accusing it of funding groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Islamic State, and working with Iran to destabilize the region. The proposed gathering would be modeled on the 1978 Camp David summit that led to the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt.

        “It’s a Camp David moment,” a senior White House official told Fox News. “We’ve seen nothing like this in 40 years, and now the president wants to follow through. The president now wants to bring all the key players to Washington. They need to disavow groups like the Brotherhood for the stability of the Middle East at large. It’s not just about Qatari elements funding the Brotherhood but disavowing support for extremism in general.” 

        A Middle East expert close to the White House told Fox News that the meeting being discussed would be a move to restore American alliances weakened during the Obama years. The White House plans were being formulated partly in response to calls in the Middle East for re-invigorated American leadership.

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