US will not stay out of the Persian Gulf conflict

(VOVWORLD) -US President Donald Trump says he could mediate the dispute between the Gulf countries and Qatar and he believes they could reach an agreement quickly. Why is the US making its proposal three months into the crisis?
US will not stay out of the Persian Gulf conflict - ảnh 1US President Donald Trump

President Trump made his proposal at a press conference with Kuwait’s Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah in Washington last week. Trump offered to be a mediator in the dispute between Qatar and its Arab neighbours, saying the dispute could be solved “fairly easily”. Trump talked by phone with the Princes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and Qatar’s Emir, and delivered a message that unity among them is vital in ensuring regional stability and confronting threats from Iran.

Asserting its influence

The diplomatic crisis, the worst ever in the Gulf, between Qatar and its Arab neighbors began in June. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain have cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar and blocked road, river, and air transportation, citing as a reason that Qatar supports Iran and extremist groups.  

Several countries, including Turkey, Russia, and Kuwait, have tried to mediate the dispute but have failed to gain any result. Analysts say Trump’s proposal to be a mediator is a calculated plan.

The US’s core interests in the Gulf lie in a free petroleum transportation route, preventing terrorist attacks from this region targeting the US and its allies in Europe, and keeping Iran from strengthening its power. Washington wants to bolster a Sunni alliance to constrain Iran and fight Jihadist terrorism. The US maintained military bases in Qatar, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia. It wants to rally all Gulf countries to an alliance to fight terrorism. Since the Gulf crisis ignited, the US has played only a minor role, calling for restraint and a solution through dialogue.

One reason for the US to serve as a mediator is a recent visit by the Russia’s Foreign Minister to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. Sergei Lavrov said Russia would have acceptable solutions for all sides. He urged the US not to stand outside the crisis.

Qatar has been managing its new isolated status. Last week it decided to use the new Hamad seaport as a trade route with many other countries and reduce the pressure from its neighbors. Turkey and Iran have discussed a plan to use Iran’s roads to promote trade with Qatar. It will help Doha expand relations with countries outside the Gulf and regional countries will have no further use for imposing sanctions on Qatar.

President Trump has offered to mediate the Gulf crisis to compete in influence with Russia in the Middle East.