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.”

Turkey sends armed drone to northern Cyprus amid gas dispute

Updated 36 min 3 sec ago

Turkey sends armed drone to northern Cyprus amid gas dispute

  • The breakaway northern Cyprus government approved the use of the airport for unmanned aerial vehicles
  • A recent agreement between Turkey and Libya claims extensive areas of sea for Turkey in the Mediterranean

FAMAGUSTA, Cyprus: A Turkish military drone was delivered to northern Cyprus on Monday amid growing tensions over Turkey’s deal with Libya that extended its claims to the gas-rich eastern Mediterranean.
The Bayraktar TB2 drone landed in Gecitkale Airport in Famagusta around 0700 GMT, an AFP correspondent said, after the breakaway northern Cyprus government approved the use of the airport for unmanned aerial vehicles.
It followed a deal signed last month between Libya and Turkey that could prove crucial in the scramble for recently discovered gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean.
The agreement claimed extensive areas of the sea for Turkey, undercutting claims by Greece and the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus, which runs the southern part of the island.
Analysts say Turkey was pushing back against rival efforts to claim exploration rights in the area after Cyprus, Greece, Egypt and Israel excluded Turkey from a new “East Mediterranean Gas Forum” that also includes Jordan, Italy and the Palestinian territories.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which is only recognized by Turkey, said approval for the drone was given last week “in light of the latest developments in the eastern Mediterranean region” and “to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the TRNC and Turkey.”
The TRNC’s transport minister, Tolga Atakan, said Turkish drones were partly a response to the acquisition of Israeli drones by Cyprus in October to monitor its exclusive economic zone.
Cyprus has been divided since Turkish troops occupied the northern third of the island in 1974 in response to a coup sponsored by the Greek military junta.
Turkey already has two drilling vessels in the eastern Mediterranean despite the threat of European Union sanctions.
Ankara does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member, and says the TRNC has the right to explore around the entire island.