WASHINGING: The rise and consolidation of the Turkish-Qatari alliance poses “a growing threat” to the interests of the United States and the Middle East, a US think tank said in a report on Thursday.
The governments of Qatar and Turkey work together to “shelter terror financiers, promote hateful ideology, and prop up violent extremist groups” throughout the Middle East and lead to regional instability in the process, a report by the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) said.
Documenting years of cooperation, the report highlights the increase in Turkish-Qatari relations that has been growing since 2002.
FDD claims that the report “assesses their shared Islamist outlooks and joint support for regional extremist groups, as well as military-to-military cooperation, economic aid, and trade and investment deals.”
In the reported titled “Brothers in Arms: The Consolidation of the Turkey-Qatar Axis,” Senior Fellow Aykan Erdemir and Senior Research Analyst Varsha Koduvayur, say that “Washington has failed to hold these two countries to account over the years.”
“Turkish and Qatari leaders have become leading patrons of various Islamist movements around the world, fueling hate and prejudice against the West, and undermining efforts to strengthen secularism and minority rights in the Middle East,” Erdemir, a former member of the Turkish parliament, said.
“It is time for the US and its transatlantic allies to push back against this alliance and its sectarian ideology,” he added.
Co-author Koduvayur stressed that Turkey and Qatar have formed an “enduring foul-weather friendship.”
“Despite hosting important overseas US military bases, Ankara and Doha work together in a manner that only hurts Washington and its regional interests,” Koduvayur said.
“For too long, we have not sufficiently held these countries accountable for the major role they play in funding Hamas, in propagating extremist ideologies, and in backing a whole gamut of violent groups in Syria, Libya, and Iraq. This malign conduct will only increase the further entrenched this partnership becomes.”
FDD founder and president Clifford May says the Turkish-Qatari alliance “has become not just increasingly complicated, but also increasingly threatening to core American values and interests.”
The report recommends that Washington should use “inducements and disincentives” to pressure Turkey and Qatar.