Tillerson Asks Gulf Coalition to Ease Qatar Blockade

Tillerson Asks Gulf Coalition to Ease Qatar Blockade

Tillerson Asks Gulf Coalition to Ease Qatar Blockade

The four Arab states affirmed "working together with partners" around the world towards finding solutions to countering terrorist organizations and extremist groups, expressing unity in their ongoing commitment to combat terrorism, drying up its funding, countering extremist ideology and the ways of its promotion, according to the statement.

Trump said Arab leaders he met with in Saudi Arabia last month had urged him to confront Qatar over its behavior. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said isolating Qatar would not resolve any problems.

On Wednesday, Trump called the Qatar ruler, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, in an effort to end the crisis which has the possibility to invoke an economic crisis in Doha.

Tillerson said Qatar has a history of supporting groups across a wide political spectrum, including those that engage in violence, and that the emir of Qatar had made progress in halting financial support for terrorism but that he must do more. Qatar has a significant offshore oil and gas sector, with many foreign flagged OSVs employed there, as well as a significant LNG fleet and intra-GCC trade in aggregates.

"The time had come to call on Qatar to end its funding", Trump said.

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Earlier this week, Trump appeared to tie the blockade to the success of his trip in May to Saudi Arabia and welcomed it as positive news in a series of tweets.

A group of Gulf nations led by Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic ties as well as land, sea and air travel with Qatar on June 5, accusing the country of supporting Sunni extremist groups and Iranian-backed Shiite militants to destabilize the region.

Turkey has brought forward a troop deployment to Qatar and pledged to provide food and water supplies to its Arab ally, which hosts a Turkish military base.

Jubeir declined to confirm a list of 10 demands published by Al Jazeera, which included shutting down the widely watched, Doha-based satellite network, but added that Qatar knew what it needed to do to restore normal relations.

Qatar vowed on Thursday to ride out the isolation and said it would not compromise its sovereignty over foreign policy to resolve the region's biggest diplomatic crisis in years. Riyadh denied any involvement.

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The spat has led to one of the worst Gulf crises in decades, with suspended flights and regional ports closed to Qatari ships.

Slogans against and in support of Qatar in Arabic have dominated Twitter, which is hugely popular in the region, and have grown steadily more nationalistic and aggressive in tone. "Our President, as the current head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, got actively involved in this [Qatar row] by having phone calls with both some Islamic countries and some Western countries, to resolve the issue", Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said.

An outspoken Emirati ruling family member has raised the prospect of a change in leadership in Qatar, which is embroiled in a major diplomatic crisis with its Gulf neighbors.

Qatari's foreign minister said on Tuesday "Doha was ready for mediation efforts".

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