Worldwide

U.S. senator to block arms sales to Gulf over Qatar crisis

Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said in a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that "recent disputes" among members of the Gulf Cooperation Council undermine efforts to combat the Islamic State and counter Iran.

The influential senator said that his committee would block lethal military weapons sales to GCC states - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman - until there was "a better understanding of the path to resolve the current dispute and reunify the GCC".

They later sent a list of 13 demands to end the dispute including Qatar's closing of broadcaster Al Jazeera, the shutting down of a Turkish military base in the country and reduce ties with Iran.

U.S. law states that major arms sales are subject to preliminary approval by the chairman and ranking member of the Senate and House committees overseeing foreign affairs before a statutory, 30-day congressional review process begins.

Saudi Arabia and several of its allies yesterday (5 June) cut relations with Qatar, accusing it of supporting extremism, in the biggest diplomatic crisis to have hit the region in years.

The German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel likened the crisis to an Arabic House of Cards, adding the demands being made of Qatar were provocative.

Secretary Tillerson's more balanced stance on the conflict leaves open the possibility of Qatar not accepting all the offered terms, and opting to rather meet with the boycotting states at a US endorsed mediation by the neutral state Kuwait.

The decision will not affect a $500m weapons sale to the country that Congress failed to block earlier this month.

During Trump's recent visit to Saudi Arabia, Washington inked a massive, $110-billion arms deal with the kingdom.

Trump considered Corker as a potential vice president and secretary of state, and he works closely with the White House.

Following the announcement that the nations were severing ties, Trump took credit for the move and cheered the announcement as evidence that his meeting in Saudi Arabia had unified the Arab countries in the fight against terrorism.

Qatar, which had 10 days to respond to the demands, is still gauging how to answer.

"Some of the elements" in the demands "will be very hard for Qatar to meet", Tillerson said last weekend. Since the list of 13 demands was presented, Tillerson has been non-committal, observing that some of them would be "very hard for Qatar to meet", but arguing there were "significant areas which provide a basis for ongoing dialogue leading to resolution". "A lowering of rhetoric would also help ease the tension".

Erdogan rejected the call to remove Turkish troops outright.



Like this

Latest


28 June 2017
Stephen Colbert announces a week of 'Late Show' episodes from Russia
Stephen Colbert returned from his recent trip to Russian Federation just in time to host The Late Show With Stephen Colbert . I could be over there giving state secrets to the Russians. "Oh, wait.

27 June 2017
Steve Scalise is out of intensive care following shooting
They revealed that they found a note on the gunman , James Hodgkinson with members of Congress's names on it. Steve Scalise is no longer in the intensive care unit of a Washington , D.C., hospital.

26 June 2017
Mark Wahlberg Says Michael Bay Is Key to His 'Transformers' Future
Wonder Woman again had a minimal drop of just 39% its fourth weekend and its total is now up to $318.4 million in North America. Take a look at the box office estimates for the weekend of June 23, and check back on Tuesday for next week's predictions.

26 June 2017
Petra Kvitova wins Aegon Classic final for first title since attack
However she double-faulted twice when she was trying to close out the match at 5-3 in the second set. Kvitova was playing only her second tournament and seventh match since she was attacked in December.

26 June 2017
Bipartisan group of United States senators introduces resolution welcoming Moon
The United States has stressed the "absolute importance" of THAAD deployment in South Korea since it was first installed in April.

24 June 2017
Authorities release dashcam video of Philando Castile shooting
Philando Castile's mother, Valerie Castile , said she was "mad as hell" with the verdict and called Yanez a "murderer". The video shows the brief interaction between Castile and police officer Jeronimo Yanez after Castile was pulled over.

24 June 2017
UK leader holding alliance talks with NIreland party chief
One possible effect of Brexit is the "hardening" of the border between UK-controlled Northern Ireland and the state of Ireland. In the letter, obtained by the Financial Times, he urged ministers to make jobs and the economy their priority in negotiations.

21 June 2017
John Oliver Says Trump 'Needs To Stop Lying To Coal Miners'
However, Oliver pointed out Trump may actually have no idea what it is that miners do after showing a video of the president pretending to mine coal at a rally.

21 June 2017
June heatwave could beat 22-year record as UK swelters
The Met Office has pointed to a hot air mass moving from Spain and France to the United Kingdom for the rise in temperatures. The rain will move in from the west and will affect southern Scotland and northern England including the Bolton area.

20 June 2017
Saif Ali Khan is in awe of Karan Johar
When asked whether he was involved in decision making over Sara's debut film, Saif said, "No, I wasn't involved in it. His answer confused everyone as a few months ago he said that he was happy to see Sara do whatever she wishes to.



Recommended