Dec 12 2017

Turkey, Qatar are new sponsors of radical ideology – U.S. NatSec adviser McMaster

Turkey and Qatar are the new sponsors of radical Islamist ideology in the Middle East, U.S. National Security Adviser General HR McMaster was quoted as saying by UAE-based online news website, The National.

The unusually harsh remarks by McMaster, who also attributed the rise of the ruling AKP to Turkey's growing problems with the West, were made during a speech in Washington D.C. on Tuesday.

“Radical Islamist ideology is obviously a grave threat to all civilised people,” McMaster said, according to the National. “It is being advanced through charities, Madrassas and other social organisations.”

McMaster said that the organisations were supported by Saudi Arabia decades ago, but it “is now done more by Qatar, and by Turkey.” 

Relations between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government and the Trump administration are deeply strained amid an ongoing Iran sanctions trial in New York. Erdogan has also been very critical of the Trump administration after the White House's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Furthermore, prominent Turkish officials and pro-Erdogan pundits have lambasted the U.S. government for its support for and arming of Syrian Kurds.

McMaster warned that Islamist radical ideology was bridging into political Islam and named the Muslim Brotherhood as an example, according to The National. In Egypt, McMaster said, the Brotherhood's ‘Morsi model’ monopolised the opposition, and in Turkey, AKP has consolidated power through one-party rule.

McMaster also announced that Trump will set out a new national security strategy next week to face threats posed by China and Russia, who he said were “revisionist powers”, and Iran and North Korea, who were “rogue regimes”.