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Gulf states must work out their differences before they can buy any more weapons from the US, an influential American lawmaker has warned.
Yesterday, the chairman of the US Senate Foreign relations committee Bob Corker expressed concern about the ongoing Gulf crisis.
In a letter to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, he said “recent disputes among the GCC countries only serve to hurt efforts to fight ISIS and counter Iran.”
I will withhold consent on future arms sales to GCC until a path to resolve the dispute is established. My letter: https://t.co/PTOlC5Wcmk.
— Senator Bob Corker (@SenBobCorker) June 26, 2017
“Before we provide any further clearances during the informal review period on sales of lethal military equipment to the GCC states, we need a better understanding of the path to resolve the current dispute and reunify the GCC.”Escalating crisis
It's been three weeks since Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain cut off diplomatic and economic ties to Qatar for political reasons.
The crisis escalated last week after the nations presented a 13-point list of demands to Doha. They included closing Al Jazeera, shutting down a Turkish military base and cutting off ties with certain political groups.
Photo for illustrative purposes only. Paul Keller/Flickr
Corker's pledge to halt arms sales comes a day after Tillerson said that many of the demands would “be very difficult for Qatar to meet.”
On Sunday, he urged GCC nations to sit together to work out the dispute, adding that “a lowering of rhetoric would also help ease the tension.”F-15 deal in question
A US arms embargo would directly affect recent weapons orders by both Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Earlier this month, Qatar signed a deal to purchase $15 billion in F-15 fighter jets. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has been talking about buying some $110 billion in weapons from US manufacturers.
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In the US, big arms sales come across the desk of the chairman of the House and Senate foreign affairs committees for preliminary approval.
Congress then has about a month to review the deals, and decide whether to take action against them.
According to some analysts, the threat of withholding sales could provide an impetus for the GCC nations to resolve their differences.
This largely helps Tillerson in pressure to end the dispute. GCC countries have many disagreements, but none want a block on US arms sales
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) June 26, 2017
Qatar's foreign minister is expected to meet Tillerson today, as the deadline for responding to its neighbors' demands draws near.
(The post US lawmaker: No arms deals to Gulf countries during dispute is from Doha News.)
Photo for illustrative purposes only. Pixabay
A six-year-old boy has died after falling into an uncovered manhole in Wukair over the weekend, Gulf Times reports.
The child, an Indian expat named Izan Ahmed Basheer, reportedly went missing after he and his parents ate at a restaurant in the area on Saturday.
According to the newspaper, the parents filed a police report and began canvassing the area along with friends and family.
Izan Ahmed Basheer Mathrubhumi
But then Izan's body was found early Sunday morning in an open manhole near the restaurant.Spate of deaths
At least half a dozen children in Qatar have died after falling into uncovered manholes in the past seven years.
That includes a three-year-old Jordanian boy who in November 2012 fell into an 8m (26-foot) hole outside of an Al Sadd hotel.
And one month later, a three-year-old Omani girl was killed after falling into an open manhole near her home in Al Wakrah.
Fahim Sirajudeen Supplied
Municipal workers conducting a cleanup did not notice she had fallen in and secured the manhole cover before leaving for the night. She was found during a search of the area by neighbors.
And then in 2013, a five-year-old boy named Fahim was walking just ahead of his parents after leaving the now-closed fish market in Abu Hamour one evening when he disappeared into an open manhole.
Fahim was eventually rescued, but he suffered brain damage after being submerged in water and going without oxygen for several minutes. He died days later.Put safety first
A government official was eventually sentenced to one year in jail for gross negligence after his death and for not ensuring the safety of manholes in the Central Market area.
Speaking after the verdict, the child's father urged authorities to introduce stringent safety rules so that other families could avoid having to “share this sort of pain.”
Photo for illustrative purposes only. Marco Zanferrari/Flickr
Sirajudeen added that simple measures such as putting barriers around the open hole and lighting the area could have shown up the open hole, and saved his son's life.
“After this happened, people told us we weren't looking after our son properly. But he was right with us. The area was dark – there were no lights at the time. We couldn't see the hole.
“What we have lost we can never get back. My wife cries every single day. There is nothing, nothing which can compensate for what has happened to us. I never want something like this to happen to another family. I never want to share this sort of pain with another family.”
(The post Report: Another child in Qatar dies after falling into an open manhole is from Doha News.)
Photos courtesy of QNA, Katara, Nashira Usef and Lagoona Mall
Qatar residents turned out in droves to masjids, malls and other hotspots around the country to celebrate the first day of Eid Al Fitr.
Many spent time with friends and family, as well as went out to eat after a month of refraining from food during the daylight hours.
At Katara Cultural Village, thousands of people attended live entertainment shows and checked out the first in a series of daily fireworks shows this week.
— كتارا | Katara (@kataraqatar) June 25, 2017
Entertainment was in full swing over at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center, Asian Town and several malls, including Lagoona:
— Lagoona Mall (@LagoonaMall) June 25, 2017
For a full list of what's going on around town, check out our Eid guide here.
How is your holiday going? Thoughts?
(The post Thousands of people mark Eid in Qatar with prayer, fun and fireworks is from Doha News.)