Donald Trump will meet Qatar’s emir today for discussions.
Last June, four Gulf states cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar, citing accusations the emirate financed Islamist extremists and fostered ties with Iran. Mr Trump has taken a hard line against Doha, calling on the country to cut its ties with “terrorists”.
Several UN Security Council resolutions sanctioning extremists have targeted individuals who have been identified as or affiliated with Qatari nationals. With having quietly expressed support for groups with extremist links like the Taliban, Hamas and the Houthi rebels in Yemen, allegations of Qatari ties appear to be at least partly founded in truth.
Mr Trump’s discussion with the emir will influence this Sunday’s Arab League summit. With last September’s summit quickly devolving to hyperbole and name-calling, the tone of today’s discussions could provide an indicator of what to expect from the summit to come. An exceptionally strong denunciation of Qatari ties to extremism could inspire boycotting Gulf States to renew their verbal attacks against Qatar and lead to another unsuccessful summit. On the other hand, a strong US commitment to peacefully and diplomatically resolving the conflict could have the opposite effect.
Nick is the Director of the Daily Brief and a contributing Senior Analyst to it. An attorney, his areas of expertise include international law, international and domestic criminal law, security affairs in Europe and the Middle East, and human rights.