Emirati ambassador: US should rethink its air base in Qatar

staticviewlift-a.akamaihd.net(Photo Credit: Mel Evans/AP)

13 June 2017 | | AP

The United States should consider moving its air base out of Qatar, the Emirati ambassador to the U.S. said Tuesday, encouraging the Trump administration to use its leverage to further pressure Qatar over alleged support for extremism.

As the Persian Gulf crisis enters its second week, Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba of the United Arab Emirates said Qatar’s neighbors would “fairly soon” give the U.S. a list of specific actions Qatar must take before punitive steps are lifted. He said the list would likely include Qatari sanctions on bank accounts of individuals that Qatar’s neighbors have already sanctioned — and possibly on the banks themselves.

“We’ve gotten fed up. We’ve had enough,” Otaiba said.

In their bid to isolate Qatar by cutting off diplomatic ties, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries have been emboldened by President Donald Trump, who has forcefully echoed their accusations that Qatar funds terrorist groups and foments instability in the Mideast. UAE Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba said both his country and the U.S. had allowed “bad behavior” by Qatar to continue for “a very long time.”

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