Qatar Rejects the Saudi-led Bloc’s Absurd Demands
Qatar has rejected the Saudi-led bloc’s excessive and unrealistic list of demands:
Qatar’s foreign minister has rejected a list of 13 conditions set by four Arab states for lifting sanctions, saying it is neither reasonable nor actionable.
Qatar’s rejection of the bloc’s absurd demands they were given isn’t surprising. Indeed, this is probably the reaction the Saudis and their allies wanted because they could then use it as a pretext for escalating the crisis. Kristian Ulrichsen notes that the demands were so extensive and outrageous that they were probably designed to be rejected:
Yet, the extent and scale of the demands appear designed to induce a rejection by Qatar, and a possible justification for a continuation, if not escalation, of the crisis. The list, if accurate, represents an intrusion into the internal affairs of Qatar that would threaten its very sovereignty.
Now that the rejection has happened, we are going to find out how far the Saudis and their allies are prepared to take their rivalry with their neighbor and how much reckless behavior from bad clients the Trump administration is willing to indulge. Based on what the president has said so far, we should expect that the U.S. is going to back the Saudis and their allies to the hilt no matter how dangerous and foolish doing that proves to be.