Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister has claimed Qatar’s government would fall “within less than a week” if the US no longer protected the country militarily.
The statement issued by minister of foreign affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir came in response to comments made in a joint press conference between US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday.
During the session, Trump called for more support in Syria, stating some countries in the Middle East “wouldn’t last a week without US protection” and they should “now step up and pay for what is happening”.
“Countries that are in the area, some of which are immensely wealthy, would not be there except for the United States, and to a lesser extent France,” he said.
Al-Jubeir suggested that Qatar should pay for the US military presence in Syria and “send its military forces there, before the US President lifts American protection of the State of Qatar”.
“The foreign minister reasserted US President utterance that if the US is to withdraw its protection, represented in the military base located in Qatar, then that regime will fall, within less than a week,” according to SPA.
Saudi Arabia, along with the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, began a boycott of Qatar in June last year over the country’s alleged links to terrorist groups.
The dispute shows little sign of ending, with the UAE this week complaining that one of its civilian planes was intercepted by Qatari fighter jets.
Trump has been attempting to end the standoff in recent months in part due to concerns that a concerted regional effort against Iran is needed.
The crisis has drawn Qatar closer to the Islamic republic and Turkey, which also has a military base in the country.