Pompeo takes up cudgels for Qatar
US SECRETARY of State Mike Pompeo said yesterday an ongoing boycott of Qatar by four of America’s allies in the Middle East “has dragged on too long,” though he gave no sign of any coming breakthrough in the dispute.
Stopping off in the small, energy-rich nation as part of a Mideast tour, he said “great things” were happening between Qatar and the US.
Pompeo said he signed a memorandum of understanding with Qatar regarding the expansion and renovation of al-Udeid Air Base, which hosts the forward headquarters of the US military’s Central Command and some 10 000 American troops.
Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates began a boycott of Qatar in 2017, alleging Qatar funds extremist groups and had close ties to Iran.
Qatar has denied funding extremists, but Doha shares a massive offshore natural gas field with Tehran.