NATO has rejected the interest shown by Qatar to become a part of the military defense alliance. The Western group has stated that its membership was limited to only the United States and Europe. The rejection came after the defense minister of Qatar commented that one of the long-term strategic ambitions of Qatar was to join NATO.
The fact is the Washington Treaty itself can prevent Qatar from becoming a member. As per Article 10 of the treaty, membership of NATO can only be given to European nations. However, even without this condition in place, NATO would have never allowed Qatar to become a member. There are, in fact, several important reasons for the same.
The biggest reason for Qatar’s ambitions of becoming a NATO member being impossible is that it is a known supporter of terrorism. Moreover, Qatar is allied with Iran. It even provides support to Iranian militias. Of course, Qatar has been warned by the US to stop assisting the pro-Iranian factions.
Terrorism is one of the biggest charges against Qatar. The country has been extremely negligent when it comes to stopping terrorists from moving freely within its own borders. This is taking place despite the assurances given by the Qatari government. It had stated that it was trying to stop funds flowing to extremist and terrorist groups from Qatar. However, little has been done in this regard. In fact, there is nothing to show that Qatar has made any progress or even proof that Qatar undertook efforts.
Dangerous terrorist groups including Al Qaeda, ISIS, and even the Taliban have all looked towards Qatar to get funds for their extremist activities. Qatar has failed to stop this. As a result, Qatar has had a role in the destabilization of the region. It has enabled the growth of radical factions. In some cases, the results have been catastrophic. For example, Qatar has been supporting Hamas, a terrorist organization which is in control of the Gaza Strip. This group has been responsible for the deaths of thousands. Instead of focusing on the dangers of Hamas, Qatar has openly stated that it considers Hamas to be a legitimate and genuine resistance movement, which is completely untrue.
For all these reasons, Qatar will never be given the membership of an organization like NATO. In fact, NATO would never even consider such an application, if it were to be made.