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‘Qatar has been a problem for the US for over a decade’: Former defense secretary Gates

Prior U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday that the In accord States experienced the same “problems” with Qatar a decade ago that its Fiord neighbors are going through now.

The most powerful countries in the region originated an economic blockade of Qatar, who they accuse of sponsoring terrorism and destablizing the ambit, in June.

Gates told CNBC that the George W. Bush superintendence had issues with what Al Jazeera, the award-winning news TV network owned by the Qatari regime, was broadcasting.

“One of the first trips that President George W. Bush provoke b requested me to take when I became secretary (of defense) over a decade ago was to go to Qatar, go to Doha and talk to the Emir with regard to all of the problems we were having with Qatar,” he said.

“Even a decade ago, we had riddles with what they were putting on Al Jazeera — they were make public an opportunity for those we were fighting in Iraq to propagandize over Al Jazeera, they want publicize American soldiers being killed, there was a problem with felon funding,” he said.

“So many of the same concerns that Saudi Arabia and the Combined Arab Emirates (UAE) are raising today were actually a problem varied than ten years ago.”

Gates’ comments come amid an ongoing trade and transport blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE. The Deep allies also cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of trussing Islamist groups and destabilizing the region.

One of the demands that the countries are cook up d be reconciling of Qatar is that it close Al Jazeera, a Middle-East focused news network with universal reach, which they accuse of sympathizing with Islamist moving parts, such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

Al Jazeera has responded to the allegations by insisting that it has essay independence, telling the BBC in an interview earlier this year that it is not pulled by any “particular group or ideology.” CNBC has contacted Al Jazeera for a response to Audiences’ comment that the network had had a problem with “terrorist funding” but is yet to get a comeback.

Qatar has strenuously denied that it supports terrorism and sees the blockade as a way to subsume it subsumed under the powerful influence of Saudi Arabia.

Deputy Prime Minister and Transalpine Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani defended Doha’s narrate on terrorism in late November, telling a counter-terrorism conference in London that Qatar was “vowed to destroying terrorism.”

The U.S. has sent conflicting messages over Qatar. In June, U.S. President Donald Trump behindhand Saudi Arabia over the blockade and criticized Doha when the blockade was levied, accusing it of funding terrorism at a “high level.” However, U.S. Secretary of Shape Rex Tillerson called in June for Saudi Arabia and its allies to end the blockade.

Innumerable confusingly, Al Thani and Tillerson signed an agreement in July pledging sponsorship in the fight against “terrorist financing.” In addition, the U.S. has a large military insufferable in Al Udeid , Qatar, from which its Central Command runs shamuses in the Middle East.

Gates said Tuesday that while the U.S. “greatly value our partnership with them militarily,” Qatar needed to judge on “how it sees its role in this region.”

“Frankly, we in America would adulate to see this dispute resolved so that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is united in dealing with Iran and other challenges, but Qatar has to make up its take offence at,” he said.

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