Corker vows to block arms sales to Gulf states over Qatar

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will block arms sales to the Gulf States until there's a "better understanding" of how the Qatar crisis will be resolved, he said Monday.

"The unity of the Gulf States and their commitment to security cooperation were welcome steps forward", Corker wrote in the letter to Tillerson.

"All countries in the region need to do more to combat terrorism, but recent disputes among the [Gulf Cooperation Council] countries only serve to hurt efforts to fight [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] and counter Iran", Sen.

Arms sales are subject to preliminary approval by the committee before going to the full Congress for a 30-day review period.

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Qatar says it is being punished for straying from its neighbours' backing for authoritarian hereditary and military rules.Mainly Shi'ite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia have always been at loggerheads over religion and political influence in the Middle East. Zarif told the group earlier on Monday that Europe should use its influence to defuse tensions in the Gulf, arguing that those countries that blamed Iran or Qatar for terrorism were trying to avoid taking responsibility for their own failures.

Although there has been no official confirmation of Saudi Arabia's demands, the list also apparently calls on Qatar to cut ties to groups including the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, al-Qaeda and Lebanon's Hezbollah group. They see Al-Jazeera as an arm of Qatari foreign policy, fomenting dissent. Qatar has been given 10 days to meet the demands, but the Saudi-led group has not said what action it would take if the deadline is not met.

And she called into question whether Qatar's alleged support for terrorism is the true cause of the crisis, or whether there is an underlying political dispute.

"Unfortunately, the GCC did not take advantage of the summit and instead chose to devolve into conflict", he added.

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The Arab states are demanding, among other things, that Doha close Al Jazeera television, kerb ties with Iran, shut a Turkish base and also pay reparations.

Qatar's recent purchase of $15bn worth of F-15 fighter jets could also be affected, Bays said.

Tehran has sent six aircraft into Qatar as part of an ongoing food airlift program for the besieged country since the blockade went into place As of mid-June, over 90 tons of food has been flown into the country by Iranian aircraft, with another 350 tons waiting to be shipped by Iranian vessels from the port of Dayyer, local reports say.

Tillerson has urged a diplomatic solution, and Washington has been pushing for a clear list of grievances that are "reasonable and actionable".

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Earlier this month, the Senate narrowly rejected a bipartisan attempt to rebuke Saudi Arabia, and scrap Trump's plan to sell the kingdom more than $500m in precision-guided munitions.

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