By Middle East Affairs
The U.N. told Qatar that membership for the Western military defense alliance was only for Europe and the United States.
This came in response to a comment that Qatar’s defense minister made on Tuesday, that the country’s long-term strategic “ambition” was to join NATO.
A U.N. official for the 29 country alliance referenced the U.N. legislation and said, “According to Article 10 of the Washington Treaty, only European countries can become members of NATO. Qatar is a valuable and longstanding partner of NATO.”
Defense Minister Khalid bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah wants to become a member of NATO following the bitter isolation it has suffered since last year’s disputes with its Gulf neighbors.
Attiyah in an article in the Qatari defense ministry magazine Altalaya said, “Qatar today has become one of the most important countries in the region in terms of the quality of armament.”
He also said, “Regarding the membership, we are the main ally from outside NATO… The ambition is full membership if our partnership with NATO develops and our vision is clear.”
Since last year, when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt ended ties with Qatar and kicked out all Qataris living there, along with closing its only land border, Qatar has felt isolated and alone, without any allies nearby. Its neighbors accused it of supporting terrorism and Iran.