The foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt met in Cairo on Wednesday to discuss their stance toward Qatar’s response to the 13-item demands they handled to the Kuwaiti mediated about two weeks ago.
After Qatar swiftly rejected a list of 13 demands put forward by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt in order for the Gulf allies to drop their attempts to isolate Qatar, the four countries’ foreign ministers gathered in Cairo on Wednesday and held a press conference to announce their reaction.
They said they wouldn’t impose further sanctions on Qatar, but had some very awkward moments while doing so.
Following are some odds that occurred during the press conference:
– They admitted that Trump told them to stop being so naughty!
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry revealed that the four countries turned to US President Donald Trump for instructions – which ulitmately influenced their decision to not impose any further sanctions on Qatar.
Trump told the four “to negotiate constructively to resolve the diplomatic crisis” rather than to exasperate it with new sanctions.
– ‘It hurts us to treat Qatar this way, it really does,’ says Saudi foreign minister.
Adel Al-Jubeir stood up, with a straight face, and said that the four countries were upset about beseiging Qatar. Which wasn’t patronising at all…
– ‘Anyone who deals with Iran must be punished,’ the Saudi foreign minister added.
This may not seem so ridiculous if Riyadh could stand by its threats. Let’s not forget that Kuwait, the country mediating this crisis, invited Iranian President Rouhani to their country in February. Oman too. And of course, the United States and the five next most powerful Western nations all worked to come to a deal with Iran over its nuclear capabilities in 2015.
– ‘We are facing a crisis with Qatar, but we have a bigger problem with terrorism,’ says the UAE foreign minister.
But haven’t they been arguing all this time that Qatar was the sole source of terrorism and the whole point of this blockade was simply a massive counter-terrorist operation?
Or did they not want to try to explain their claim that Qatar was funding both Al-Qaeda and the Houthis in Yemen – two ideologically disparate groups who are at real physical war with each other – at the same time?
– ‘Why doesn’t Qatar want us to smile?’
The foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates Abdullah Bin Zayed actually asked this question during the press conference…