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Tillerson Calls for Middle East Countries to Ease the Qatar Blockade
19 June 2017, 06:43 | Erica Roy
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir described Qatar as a'brother state during a visit to Germany
On Tuesday, Trump offered what seemed an offhand endorsement of the Saudi-led move, writing on Twitter: "During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology".
On 5 June Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE ordered Qatari nationals to leave their territories within 14 days and announced that all of their nationals had to return from Qatar, threatening penalties for anyone who did comply, the release explained. "And in the wake of that conference, nations came together and spoke to me about confronting Qatar over its behavior". The Arab countries aren't just recalling diplomats; they're also closing airspace to Qatar and restricting access by sea.
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.
Qatar has disputed the claim that it funds terrorists, with its Ministry of Foreign Affairs saying in English on its website that they are "unfounded allegations" and that the actions taken against it by its neighboring nations are "not justified".
Investors should note that Qatar "hosts a large US military base and is set to host the 2022" FIFA World Cup. It said it could not immediately respond to a request for comment on the hostage deal.
In stressing the need to take action against Qatar, Trump appeared to undercut Tillerson, who had called on Qatar's neighbors to immediately ease their blockade.
Tillerson's earlier statement that the "blockade" of Qatar is hurting US economic and military efforts in the region contradicts Pentagon officials' insistence earlier in the week that there has been no impact on USA operations in Qatar, or the fight against ISIS.
"It is just another example of failed coordination between the various departments responsible for US foreign and security policy", said Andreas Krieg, a professor at King's College London, who has provided military education to the Qatari armed forces. "I decided. the time had come to call on Qatar to end its funding".
A diplomatic crisis continues to develop in the Persian Gulf, where four Sunni states are attempting to isolate the small, oil-rich nation of Qatar from the rest of the region.
Tillerson also said that 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.
"Now the concern is more serious, much more acute than 2014", he said.
"The investigation team confirmed that the hack was carried out using innovative technological methods by exploiting an electronic gap on the website of the Qatar News Agency", the report said.
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