John McCain: ‘Qataris’ behavior has got to change’

A file photo of Sen. John McCain (Photo: AP / Jacquelyn Martin)
Updated 14 June 2017

John McCain: ‘Qataris’ behavior has got to change’

JEDDAH: “Qataris’ behavior has got to change,” seasoned US Sen. John McCain said Tuesday during a discussion at the Wall Street Journal CFO Network annual meeting in Washington.

“We can’t have Qataris funding Salafist organizations that are committing crimes to take American lives,” he said. “We just have certain fundamentals that are what America and democracy are all about.”

McCain, who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, added: “Now guess who’s sending in groceries? The Iranians.”

He urged US President Donald Trump to send Defense Secretary James Mattis to Doha “right away” so “he sorts this out,” adding: “He has been in the region for a long time, he knows these people.”

McCain said “smart people wherever I’ve gone” have said they have not seen such a split in the Gulf before.

“One thing I can assure of, there’s more to come on what the Qataris have been doing to provoke action of this magnitude,” he said. “They’ve been trying to play both ends against the middle.”

McCain said the situation in the Gulf is dangerous and the Trump administration should act. “The one thing we need is some consistency from this administration, which they don’t have as we speak.”

Major roads reopened in Lebanon after 2-day closure

Updated 14 November 2019

Major roads reopened in Lebanon after 2-day closure

  • The roads linking Beirut with the country’s south and north were opened shortly before noon Thursday
  • Thousands of people attended the funeral of a 38-year-old father who was shot dead by a soldier at a protest Tuesday night

BEIRUT: Lebanese troops reopened major roads around Lebanon Thursday after a two-day closure triggered by a TV interview with President Michel Aoun in which he called on protesters to go home.
The roads linking Beirut with the country’s south and north were opened shortly before noon Thursday, as well as others around the country.
Protesters have been holding demonstrations since Oct. 17 demanding an end to widespread corruption and mismanagement by the political class that has ruled the country for three decades.
Aoun said Thursday that the demands of protesters are being followed adding that “they will be among the top priorities of the government that we are working on forming in the near future.”
Aoun expressed hopes in comments released by his office that a new Cabinet “will be formed in the coming days” after removing obstacles that have been delaying the formation.
Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned his government on Oct. 29, meeting a key demand of the protesters. Since then there have been disagreements over the new Cabinet as Hariri insists it should be made up of technocrats who will concentrate on solving Lebanon’s worst economic and financial crisis in decades while other politicians, including Aoun, want it to be a mixture of technocrats and politicians.
“Dealing with the developments should be based on national interests that need cooperation from all sides to achieve pursued goals,” Aoun said.
Caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil tweeted that the priority is to form a “salvation government” and prevent anyone from taking the country into a confrontation. Bassil is Aoun’s son-in-law and close aide.
The opening of the roads came a day after protesters started building a wall inside a tunnel on the highway linking Beirut with north Lebanon leading to an outcry by the public who saw it as a reminder of the 1975-90 civil war.
In the town of Jal Al-Dib, just north of Beirut, troops pushed away protesters from the highway and removed barriers that had been blocking the road since Tuesday night.
In the town of Choueifat south of Beirut, thousands of people attended the funeral of a 38-year-old father who was shot dead by a soldier at a protest Tuesday night. Alaa Abou Fakher’s death marked the first such fatality since the economically driven demonstrations against the government engulfed the country last month.
That protest was ignited by comments made by Aoun in a televised interview, in which he said there could be further delays before a new government is formed.
Abou Fakher’s coffin was carried through the streets of Choueifat as women dressed in black threw rice on it from balconies in a traditional Lebanese gesture.
Bank employees announced they will continue with their strike on Friday for the fourth day amid concerns for their safety as some of them have been subjected to insults by bank clients who were not allowed to withdraw as much as they wanted from their accounts. The country’s lenders are imposing varying capital controls that differ from bank to bank, fueling the turmoil.