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PRESSURE on qatar

‘Our patience has run out. Time is up,’ Sen. Ted Budd tells Qatar

Budd said that Qatar ‘might not have the leverage they are so quick to boast about’ to secure the hostages’ release

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Sen. Ted Budd (R-NC)

Sen. Ted Budd (R-NC), who has emerged as one of Qatar’s most vocal critics in the Senate since Oct. 7, questioned the Qatari government’s ability to influence Hamas and secure the release of additional hostages.

“Our patience has run out. Time is up. Either pressure Hamas leaders to release the hostages now, or expel them from your land,” Budd said in a Senate floor speech on Thursday. “It’s that simple. The United States of America will be watching.”

The North Carolina senator, who has publicly sparred with the Qatari ambassador on X, formerly Twitter, said that the duration of the crisis has raised questions about whether Qatar is actually in a position to effectuate the hostages’ release and whether allowing Qatar to harbor Hamas leaders — an arrangement tolerated by the U.S. government — has paid off.

“One has to consider the potential reality that Qatar might not have the leverage they are so quick to boast about,” Budd said. “And if Qatar is not able to effectuate the release of hostages, then there is no further reason for these terrorists to remain in their country. “

Qatar did mediate the original round of hostage talks that led to the release of dozens of women and children from Gaza, although subsequent proposals have fallen apart.

Budd described the issue as “personal” for him, noting that he’s met with the families of hostages and released hostages, and keeps their photos on his desk every day.

“Every day that these families have to live with the pain and uncertainty is unacceptable,” Budd said.

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