Saudi Arabia’s $110 billion Middle East development plan is now being pushed to a more difficult and expensive phase.
A group of senior U.S. and international officials told The Hill on Wednesday that the plan would not have succeeded if the kingdom had not been willing to put pressure on Qatar to break the impasse and sign a deal with the United States.
The White House said the Saudi plan would have failed if Qatar had not offered the United Kingdom a more generous contribution, which included the lifting of a $4.8 billion arms embargo.
It said it was a mistake to expect Qatar to commit to a peace treaty with Israel.
The administration also acknowledged that the United Arab Emirates had made concessions in the kingdom’s negotiations on the plan.
It did not say whether the concessions included a commitment to stop financing the terror group Hezbollah.
The United Arab Emirate, an ally of the United State, is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Qatar has been criticized by the United Nations and other international powers for its support of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks on Saudi Arabia and its citizens.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement Wednesday that Qatar has a “long history of supporting terror groups in its region” and that the U.N. Security Council should “fully understand that any nation that supports or funds terrorism has no place in our region and will be held accountable for it.”
Tillerson said Qatar has been a partner for decades in fighting ISIS, but the U,S.
government will continue to “take appropriate action” to prevent its continued funding of terrorism.
The White of Saudi Arabia has also criticized Qatar for the region’s continued support of terrorism, which has also resulted in the deaths of over a thousand people in the past few months, including children.
The Saudis have been under pressure from the United Nation’s top human rights official to halt the funding of ISIS.