Recently, Dr. Jean-Marc Rickli, Global Risk and Resilience Cluster Leader, was asked for comments by Reuters about Qatar and its role in financing extremist groups.
The article talks about US efforts to diplomatically resolve the ongoing feud between Qatar and four Gulf countries (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt). Qatar was accused of financing extremist groups and allying with Iran, causing strains within the relationships of these Gulf States. Rex Tillerson, the U.S. Secretary of State, ended attempted to appease ministers from these US-Allied Countries with no great success. While the Secretary of State had signed a U.S.-Qatari accord on terrorism financing, sources said that tensions are still high between the four Gulf countries and Qatar.
Dr. Rickli, an expert in small states security policy who has written extensively on the subject, explained that this crisis “transcends” terrorism funding. "Whatever the outcome is, one of the two sides will lose face, and losing face in the Arab world is something important. The consequences for the future will be negative for at least one camp or the other," Rickli said. The crisis could very well affect U.S. military and counter-terrorism operations and increase the regional power of Iran.