NATO quashed the wish of Qatar to join by the 29-member alliance. NATO by saying that this alliance is only restricted for the European and North american nation in its founding treaty, further new membership is restricted to only European country.
And a Middle East defense expert dismissed Qatar’s aspirations as “mere posturing.”
The hope of NATO membership was raised by the Qatari defense minister Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah in a recent interview.
But an official at the organization’s headquarters in Brussels said that there was no possibility of the Gulf nation becoming a full member.
“According to article 10 of the Washington Treaty, only European countries can become new members of NATO. Qatar is a valuable and long-standing partner of NATO. It has contributed to our past ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) mission in Afghanistan and it has offered airlift to our Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.” Al-Attiyah told “Altalaya,” the official magazine of the Qatari defense ministry: “Qatar today has become one of the most important countries in the region in terms of the quality of armament.”
“Regarding the membership, we are a main ally from outside NATO … The ambition is full membership if our partnership with NATO develops and our vision is clear.”
He made further addition: “NATO appreciates Qatar’s contribution to combating terrorism and its financing.”
On the other side Qatar is accused by other Arab countries of supporting terror groups and has been under a boycott from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt for more than a year and trying to make them alone in the region by putting burden of ban on trade and other departments.
Defense Minister Suggested that Qatar could “host one of NATO’s units or one of its specialized centers.” But Stephens said that was neither likely nor necessary. CENTCOM already has a forward headquarters in Doha and “is already plugged into NATO,”
Qatar can try its role as ally of Turkey, which is a member of NATO, but over its conduct in Syria turkey has increasingly strained relations with other nations in the alliance.
Turkey has also benefited economically from the crisis between Qatar and its neighbors. With Qatar’s only land border with Saudi Arabia closed, goods are being flown in from Turkey. But the emirate does not need military help.
“Qatar’s security architecture is already adequate. It does not need to be frame worked in this way,” Stephens said.
“With the conflict between Qatar and the GCC now entrenched, this is just posturing.”