In other remarks at the conference, retired Gen. David H. Petraeus, the former director of the CIA and commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, spoke of Qatari contributions to U.S. military efforts in the region, including the provision of the Central Command’s regional headquarters and a major air base.

Although Qatar could make some changes, Petraeus said, “I do think we have to be careful not to overdo it.” Citing the importance of regional unity to U.S. national security interests, he said of the gulf dispute that “We’ve got to get this past us. They need to come back together.”