Gulf Crisis: Washington doubts motives behind blockades

The US State Department Tuesday challenged Saudi Arabia and its league of countries to forward motives behind the air, land and sea blockades they have imposed on Qatar, throwing the bloc’s accusation of Qatar’s support for terrorism into question.

Spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters that the US is still waiting for Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and other allies to come up with clear details of their claims.

“Now that it has been more than two weeks since the embargo started we are mystified that the Gulf States have not released to the Qataris nor to the public the details about the claims they are making toward Qatar,” she said.

“The more that time goes by the more doubt is raised about the actions taken by Saudi Arabia and the UAE,” she added

Saudi Arabia and its allies on June 5 cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar on the grounds that the tiny Gulf Emirate sponsors terrorism and is putting their national security into jeopardy.

The countries closed their borders and banned Qatar planes from their airspaces, and vessels from their seas. They gave short notice to Qatari expatriates to leave their territories.

“At this point we are left with one simple question: Were the actions really about their concerns regarding Qatar’s alleged support for terrorism? “Or were they about the long-simmering grievances between and among the GCC countries?” Nauert asked.

The US State Department’s latest move clearly contradicts President Trump’s hasty action to side with the Saudi camp in the crisis after he, in a series of tweets, lashed out at Qatar that he tagged as terrorism funder.

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