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Gambia Refuses To Take Sides In Saudi Arabia-Qatar Dispute

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Qatar's position on Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, and Iran was also different from the Saudis and their allies within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Qatar denies any such support for extremists.

The fighter jet deal came amid increased diplomacy to try to resolve the crisis.

Mr Faki warned that if the rift is allowed to escalate further, it could have adverse political, security and humanitarian implications for the Gulf states, Africa and global peace and security. (Four other countries, including Yemen, the Maldives, Mauritania, and Comoros, quickly followed suit.) They did so in part because Riyadh claims Doha's backing of terrorist groups like ISIS are stronger than it lets on, and so Qatar's neighbors wanted to send a strong message.

Which isn't to say that the deal doesn't make sense by the twisted logic of US Middle East policy. To consolidate his grip on power in Saudi Arabia, MBS needs success on regional, domestic and worldwide fronts.

As I wrote this month, the outgoing USA ambassador to Qatar briefed participants in a policy conference in Washington on progress Qatar has made in cracking down on terror financing, a view that is not shared by the Treasury Department or experts inside the intelligence community. The young Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, has been endeavouring to raise the global profile of Doha, independent of Saudi Arabia.

"The air base is a nice insurance policy against additional pressure", said Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba onTuesday.

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He said that exercises involving Qatar and its allies would continue. There is no prospect that the crisis will deepen, and the deal between the U.S. and Qatar is another indication in this direction.

Tillerson and Mattis need to continue to make it abundantly clear: when USA interests are at stake, we will consult with allies, but only the United States will decide.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud arrives on the tarmac to welcome President Donald Trump as he arrives aboard Air Force One at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke by telephone with his Omani counterpart, Oman state news agency reported.

Rogin explained the conundrum facing the U.S.'s top diplomat: "Tillerson, who has decades of experience with Qatar, represents a large swath of the foreign policy and national security community who believe that Qatar has been a reliable albeit complicated ally supporting US military operations". Thus even if Israel wants to see Qatar isolated and taken down a peg, throwing it under the bus may end up being counterproductive. The two will also cooperate to back Qatar, with military backing from Turkey and use of Iranian ports for supplies.

However, a few days later, the State Department insisted that the harsh economic sanctions are "hindering" the war effort.

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