Qatar announces “ambition” to join NATO
Qatar’s defense minister Khalid bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah said that his country’s long-term strategic “ambition” is to join the NATO.
Reaching the anniversary of a year-long bitter Gulf diplomatic dispute, which has seen Qatar separated from its former regional allies, the minister said Qatar announced country’s interest to become a full member of the 29-country alliance.
The minister added that the alliance could assist Qatar in fighting against terrorism and could be a guarantor of stability in the region.
In March, Qatari armed forces signed an agreement with NATO on military and security cooperation.
The same time Qatar’s Foreign Minister has rejected Saudi Arabia’s reported threats of military action over Doha’s interest in buying Russian S-400 missile systems. He said the country can decide for itself what weapons to buy. “The purchase of any military equipment is a sovereign decision that no country has anything to do with,” Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told Qatari TV channel Al Jazeera. He stressed that any external pressure on the nation would violate international law.
“Qatar’s economy has suffered on several fronts as new logistics links proved to be more expensive in the short term,” Andreas Krieg, a professor at King’s College London said. “However, Qatar has been able to transform this crisis into an opportunity.”