The Cable

Qatar Goes to Kuwait, Estonia Takes Over, Trump Tweets and Travels: The Weekend Behind, the Week Ahead

What you might have missed in past few days — and what to watch in the days to come.

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The deadline for Qatar to meet the list of demands set by those countries that broke diplomatic ties passed on Sunday — but Qatar was given an extra 48 hours to meet the demands.

It is unclear, however, if the problem is just the deadline, given that the “non-negotiable” demands include downgrading ties with Iran, closing Al Jazeera, and bringing the country’s social, economic, and political policies in line with the other Gulf states. Qatar’s foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, has apparently arrived in Kuwait with the official Qatari response.

Slightly farther north, Estonia took over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Baltic country was slated to take over in January, but had its turn bumped up to July to replace the United Kingdom (which will not preside over the EU, as it has decided to leave it). As president, Estonia will face disagreements over such issues as Nord Stream 2, how to incorporate asylum seekers into Europe, and Brexit negotiations. But, as Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas said, “This kind of union is about trust, and emotions, and we’re now emotional, we want to be together very strongly.”

One country that’s proved something of a problem child for the EU in recent months — Poland, which has come under criticism from Brussels for its illiberal lurch — will be in the news this week for other reasons. It is to host President Donald Trump this Wednesday and Thursday, when Trump’s speech will be scrutinized for the administration’s latest update on U.S. commitment to NATO.

Trump, who prepared for America’s independence day by sending out multiple tweets attacking cable news networks and the media in general, including a gif of himself beating up a person whose head was covered with CNN’s logo, will then travel to Hamburg, Germany for the G-20 summit, where he is expected to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and, for the first time, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Photo credit: Olivier Douliery-Pool via Getty Images

Emily Tamkin is the U.S. editor of the New Statesman and the author of The Influence of Soros, published July 2020. Twitter: @emilyctamkin

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