The United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to the United States said on Tuesday there was no military aspect to steps taken by Arab powers against Qatar, which they accuse of supporting terrorism.”There is absolutely no military component to anything that we are doing,” Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba told reporters in Washington.”I have spoken and seen (U.S. Defense Secretary) General (Jim) Mattis four times in the last week, we’ve given them our complete assurance that the steps we have taken will not affect in anyway Al Udeid base or any operations supporting or regarding the base,” Otaiba said. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar last week and imposed stringent economic sanctions on it. Doha denies their accusations that it supports Islamist militants and Shi’ite Iran.
The countries have designated dozens of people with alleged links to Qatar as terrorists. They also listed 12 entities as having terrorist links.When asked what, if any, further steps would be taken against Qatar, Otaiba said:”We’ve designated 59 people and 12 entities, it’s likely that you could see designations of their bank accounts, and perhaps of the banks themselves. And so there’ll be an escalation of economic pressure, again, short of a policy shift or negotiations that lead to a policy shift.
Otaiba said the four countries were compiling and a list of demands for Qatar.”Each country has their own set of lists, their own specifications and so we’re trying to compile and curate that into one master list and it should be handed over to the United States fairly soon,” Otaiba said.