the only authoritative MB leaders are the egyptian ones

Pindostan and Qatar seal $12b deal for F-15s
Reuters, Jun 15 2017

QATAR – Faschingstein & Doha have signed an agreement for the purchase of F-15s with an initial cost of $12b, as Trump’s administration attempts to navigate an ongoing diplomatic crisis in the Gulf. The aircraft purchase was completed by Qatari Minister of Defence Khalid al-Attiyah and ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis in Faschingstein on Wednesday, according to Qatar News Agency (QNA). Attiyah said:

(This agreement upholds the) long-standing commitment of the state of Qatar in jointly working with our friends and allies in Pindostan in advancing our military cooperation for closer strategic collaboration in our fight to counter violent extremism and promote peace and stability in our region and beyond. It is yet another step in advancing our strategic and cooperative defence relationship with Pindostan, and we look forward to continuing our joint military efforts with our partners here, in Pindostan.

The Pentagon said in a statement:

(This agreement) will give Qatar a state-of-the-art capability and increase security cooperation and interoperability between Pindostan and Qatar.

The weapon transfer comes just weeks after Trump signed a deal with the Toads for almost $110b in Pindo arms. It also comes amid a diplomatic row between a Toad-led bloc of nations and Qatar. The Toads, UAE, Bahrain etc severed relations with Qatar earlier this month. Riyadh also closed its border with Qatar, the only land border the emirate has. In addition, the closure of Toad, Bahraini and Emirati airspace to Qatar-owned flights has caused major import and travel disruptions. As the Toad-led bloc moved against Qatar, Tillerson’s attempts to remain neutral were overshadowed by a series of heavy-handed tweets from Trump, in which he accused Qatar of supporting terror. The Pindo stance amid the Gulf’s diplomatic rift was thrown into further confusion last week when Tillerson called upon the Toads to ease the blockade on Qatar. Tillerson has since attempted to mediate between the two sides, and on Tuesday the State Dept said efforts to resolve the crisis were “trending in a positive direction.” On Wednesday, Tillerson told the House Committee on Foreign Relations that it was problematic to list the entirety of the MB as “terrorists.” In another development, two Pindosi Navy vessels arrived in Doha on Wednesday for a joint exercise with Qatar’s fleet. The Pindo boats arrived at Hamad port south of Doha “to participate in a joint exercise with the Qatari Emiri Navy,” according to a Ministry of Defence statement posted on QNA. The crews of the two vessels were received by Qatari navy officers. It was unclear if the arrival of the two warships was planned before the Gulf rift or if was a sign of support from the Pentagon. Qatar hosts al-Udeid Air Base, the biggest Pindosi military base in the MidEast with 11,000 troops and more than 100 aircraft.

Pindosi Navy boats in Qatar for joint exercise
AFP, Jun 15 2017

DOHA – Two Pindosi Navy vessels arrived in the Gulf on Wednesday for a joint exercise with Qatar´s fleet, according to Doha state media. The Pindo boats arrived at Hamad port south of Doha “to participate in a joint exercise with the Qatari Emiri Navy,” according to a Ministry of Defence statement posted on the Qatar News Agency. It is not clear when the joint exercise was arranged, but it will take place during a time of crisis in the Gulf. the Toads & their allies have imposed a political and economic blockade on Qatar, in protest at Doha´s )alleged) support for Islamist extremist groups as well as over its ties to Iran. The move has been backed by nations including Bahrain, the UAE, Egypt and others. Qatar strongly denies the charges and claims neighbouring countries are trying to interfere with its foreign policy. Pindostan´s largest air base in the Middle East, Al-Udeid, is in Qatar.

Emirati ambassador: Pindostan should rethink its airbase in Qatar
Josh Lederman, AP, Jun 13 2017


FASCHINGSTEIN — Pindostan should consider moving its airbase out of Qatar, the Emirati ambassador to Pindostan said Tuesday. Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba of the UAE said Qatar’s neighbors would “fairly soon” give Pindostan a list of specific actions Qatar must take before punitive steps, likely to include sanctions on bank accounts or banks themselves, are lifted. Otaiba said:

We’ve gotten fed up! We’ve had enough!

In their bid to isolate Qatar, the UAE, the Toads etc have been emboldened by Pres Trump, who has forcefully echoed their accusations that Qatar funds terrorist groups and foments instability in the mid-east. UAE Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba said both his country and Pindostan had allowed “bad behavior” by Qatar to continue for “a very long time.” Otaiba said:

If I want to be honest, I think the reason action hasn’t been taken against Qatar is because of the airbase. The airbase is a very nice insurance policy against any additional pressure. Maybe someone in Congress should have a hearing and just say, you know, should we consider moving it, and maybe not moving the entire base, maybe just distribute to various countries so you don’t have all your eggs in one basket.

Otaiba told reporters that the UAE hasn’t told Pindostan it should consider moving the base, but is “willing to have that conversation,” and he suggested (elements) could be moved to his country instead. Pointing to the new defense cooperation deal that Pindostan and the UAE signed last month, Otaiba said the “infrastructure is in place” to have that conversation if Pindostan wants to relocate. Pindostan already has (elements) in the UAE. The Pentagon has said of the recent defense cooperation deal:

It provides … the ability to more seamlessly respond to a range of scenarios in and around the UAE, if necessary.

Otaiba said the forthcoming list of demands would center on three complaints about Qatari behavior: support for terrorism, meddling in others’ internal affairs, and use of state-backed media to attack neighbors. He said the list would likely include expelling terrorists from Qatar and shutting down or curtailing Qatar-funded media outlets that attack UAE and others. He said al-Jazeera would likely be on the list of issues Qatar would have to address. He said (my precis – RB):

We’re hearing only support from the White House regarding Qatar, despite Sec State Tillerson’s call to ease those steps. That’s not going to happen. Even if Qatar does accept our demands, they will need to fulfill specific steps over a period of time to show seriousness before we restore ties. There will be an escalation of economic pressure until they accept, not a war.

Tillerson: Blacklisting MB problematic
Al-Jazeera, Jun 14 2017

Sec State Tillerson has said the classification of the MB in its entirety as a “terror” group complicates the security and politics of the Middle East. His testimony on Wednesday before the House Committee on Foreign Relations comes amid rising tensions in the Gulf, part of which centre on Qatari support for the MB. Tillerson said it was problematic to place the entire organisation, whose members amount to more than five million, some of whom occupy positions in governments across the region, on a “terror list.” Pointing out parliaments in Bahrain and Turkey as examples:

There are elements of the Muslim Brotherhood that have become parts of governments. Those elements … have done so by renouncing violence and terrorism. So in designating the Brotherhood in its totality as a terrorist organisation, I think you can appreciate the complexities this enters into our relations with them.

He said Faschingstein had designated elements of the group that are committed to violence as terrorists, but that a broad classification of the entire group would present complications. The MB is the oldest political Islamist group in the Arab world. While it is officially banned in some countries, its branches play an important role in domestic politics in many others and its members often serve as government officials. To date, the countries that have labelled the MB as terrorists are: Bahrain, Egypt, Russia, the Toads, Syria, and the UAE. In 2013, the Toads threw their weight behind Egypt’s brutal crackdown on MBs. In Mar 2014, the kingdom designated the MB as terrorist. Analysts have concluded that a brand of Sunni Islamism that called for political participation and electoral legitimacy, of which the MB is perhaps the best example, was seen as almost an existential threat by the Toads because it offered a different model of Islamist politics to their own.

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