At the moment the Saudis and Emiratis are compiling a list of demands for Qatar to meet as a condition for lifting the economic and diplomatic boycott. Otaiba on Tuesday told reporters this list would include things like expelling extremists; shutting down or reining in Qatari media operations that have been hostile to Gulf states; and implementing reforms to how the state tracks and counters terrorist financing. Otaiba expects the list of demands will be presented this week.
In other words, it’s the worst possible moment to give the Qataris any reassurances. The kingdom will soon be asked to take dramatic steps to realign its foreign policy and no longer play both sides in the Arab’s hot war on radical Islam and cold war against Iran. The F-15 deal could give Qatar the sense that it can defy its Gulf neighbors and still enjoy a good relationship with the U.S., despite Trump’s own statements that he backs the Saudi position.