WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US President Donald Trump encouraged the leaders of Saudi Arabia to move recklessly and aggressively against Qatar during his visit to their capital Riyadh in May, analysts told Sputnik.
"It's clear that Saudis have been emboldened by Trump's visit," White Rose journal editor and conflict analyst Paul Gottinger said on Wednesday. "He seems to have given the green light to Saudi Arabia's vision for the Middle East."
The immediate break of the diplomatic ties with Iran was also reportedly one of the conditions laid down by Riyadh.
"Rather than reining in their destabilizing and reckless behavior in the Middle East, the Trump administration is encouraging it, and the semi-blockade of Qatar is a serious crisis for the tiny country. [Trump] even tweeted statements in support of the Saudi-led effort to isolate Qatar," he said.
Trump had abandoned all the restraints and norms of superpower diplomacy in the Middle East, Gottinger pointed out.
"The US would normally be playing a mediating role among its GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] allies, but US leadership has evaporated under Trump. Trump doesn't understand complicated matters of foreign policy," he said.
"Qatar has used Al Jazeera to push its goals and give exposure to… voices critical of the dictatorial regimes in the region. Obviously, Saudi Arabia finds this threatening," he said.
Gottinger warned that Saudi policies in the regional were becoming increasingly unpredictable under King Salmon and his son, Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Prince Mohamed.
University of Illinois Professor of International Law Francis Boyle told Sputnik the Trump administration was irresponsibly supporting the Saudi aggressive policy against Qatar to advance its own anti-Iranian agenda.
"It appears that President Trump is encouraging Saudi Arabia to put the screws into Qatar in order to force it into line with their hostile anti-Iranian Agenda along with the other GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] states," he said.
If Qatar does not capitulate to the Saudi demands, Riyadh would probably carry out an exercise in ‘regime change’ or even outright invasion as it did in Bahrain, Boyle warned.
"This is also a harbinger of far worse things to come against Iran," he said.
Boyle is the author of "Destroying World Order: US Imperialism in the Middle East Before and After September 11."