trump contradicts mattis on qatar again

Trump says Pindostan has alternatives to Qatar’s Al Udeid airbase
Joyce Karam, UAE National, Jul 14 2017

As the dispute between Qatar and its neighbours reaches the 40-day mark, Donald Trump has raised the possibility of seeking alternatives to the Pindosi military presence at Al Udeid airbase there, were things to escalate. The Pindo president also discussed the dispute on Friday in a call from Air Force One with King Salman of the Toads. The White House said:

King Salman congratulated Pres Trump on the victory over Daesh in Mosul. The two leaders discussed recent diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute with Qatar and underscored the importance of following through on commitments from the Riyadh Summit. In particular, the President emphasised the need to cut all funding for terrorism and discredit extremist ideology.

The call comes after Pres Trump’s interview with Pat Robertson’s so-called Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) aired on Thursday, in which he was asked about the impact on the Pindo military installation in Qatar. Al Udeid airbase hosts more than 11,000 Pindo grunts and has been publicly operational since 2002. Mr Trump said in his first remarks about the base since the dispute started:

We are going to have a good relationship with Qatar, we are not going to have problems with the military base… If we ever needed another military base, you have other countries that would gladly build it…. If we ever had to leave, we would have 10 countries willing to build us another one, believe me, and they will pay for it… They are being brought back in (sic, meaning Qatar are being disciplined by the rest of the GCC, it seems – RB) because they were known as funders of terrorism, and we said that you can’t do that…. We have to starve the beast, and the beast is terrorism. We can’t have wealthy countries funding that beast.

These comments differed sharply different from those of Rex Tillerson who called Qatar’s response “reasonable” in Doha this week. Trump remarked:

Rex is doing a terrific job, but he and I had a little bit of a difference, only in terms of tone.</blockquote
Tillerson is back in Pindostan after a shuttle diplomacy tour to resolve the dispute between Qatar and the Toads Etc. He based his visit in Kuwait, which is also acting as a mediator, but shuttled between Doha and Riyadh for four days without reaching a breakthrough. Mad Dog Mattis also stepped up his engagement in a phone call with Qatari defence minister Khalid al-Attiya last weekend. Mattis hosted Bahrain’s minister of interior Rashid bin Abdullah al-Khalifa on Thursday.

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