Wednesday, June 7, 2017

More Anti-Trump Sentiment from Germany

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel accused US President Donald Trump of stirring up conflicts in the Middle East and risking a new arms race as Qatar's neighbours cut ties with Doha.


Trump on Tuesday backed the regional efforts to isolate Qatar, supporting Saudi Arabia and its allies and suggesting the key US ally - home to the largest American airbase in the Middle East - has been funding "extremism".

During his recent visit to Saudi Arabia, Trump signed arms contracts worth $110bn with Riyadh.


"US President Trump's recent giant military contracts which Gulf monarchies raise the risk of a new spiral in arms sales," Gabriel warned in an interview with the Handelsblatt daily to appear on Wednesday.


"I am very concerned with the dramatic escalation and the consequences for the whole region."


"Apparently, Qatar is to be isolated more or less completely and hit existentially. Such a 'Trumpification' of relations in a region already susceptible to crises is particularly dangerous," Gabriel said.

He added the nuclear deal agreed with Iran in 2015 had allowed just such an escalation to be avoided.

"A toxic conflict between neighbours is that last thing we need," Gabriel warned.

And yet, we may get it.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan defended Qatar after several countries severed diplomatic ties with it, saying he personally would have intervened if accusations that the tiny Gulf emirate supports "terrorism" were true.

Erdogan stood by Qatar on Tuesday, saying he intends to "develop" ties with the embattled Gulf state hit by sanctions from Saudi Arabia and its allies.

"Let me say at the outset that we do not think the sanctions against Qatar are good," Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara.


"Efforts to isolate Qatar ... will not solve any problem," said Erdogan, praising Doha's "cool-headedness" and "constructive approach".

Apparently, he didn't blame Trump, but that doesn't mean Trump can't take this as a personal slight.

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