World News

US urges Qatar, neighbors to 'sit together' to ease tension

US urges Qatar, neighbors to 'sit together' to ease tension

A plea by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Gulf states to tone down their rhetoric in a rapidly escalating diplomatic standoff involving Qatar, Saudi Arabia and three Saudi allies appears to be falling on deaf ears.

In parallel, Gulf States have reiterated that resolving the crisis with Qatar through diplomatic means remained their utmost priority.

Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera says any move to shut it down is an attack on media freedom, following demands by its Gulf neighbors for the network to be taken off air.

He said Turkey can "appreciate and embrace" Qatar's resistance to the overwhelming pressure from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt.

In their apparent bid to secure USA support and that of Israel, Riyadh, Manama, Cairo and Abu Dhabi suspended all land, air and sea traffic with Qatar, expelled its diplomats and ordered Qatari citizens to leave their countries.

"The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to cooperate and take any necessary measures for peace settling in the region", added the Iranian President.

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Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the UAE severed ties with Qatar on June 5, officially accusing Doha of supporting "terrorism" and destabilizing the region. The deals includes naval vessels, helicopters, tanks and other major weapons systems that Trump has variously said would bring "thousands" and "tens of thousands" of defense industry jobs to the United States.

Among other things, the fellow Gulf states have demanded the closure of Al Jazeera TV, which is funded by the Qatari government.

Terrorism: Qatar declares that it cuts relations all terrorist, sectarian, and ideological groups, on top of them Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, Qaeda, Fateh Sham (Nusra), Hezbollah. The Muslim Brotherhood denies it supports violence and several affiliates have participated in democratic politics. "It is a breach of Qatar's sovereign rights".

A Corker aide said his action would not affect sales that had already been reviewed by Congress or non-lethal assistance, including training. - Reuters picTillerson had called on the bloc to spell out exactly what Qatar must do to end the diplomatic and economic isolation imposed almost three weeks ago.

"Even though they still didn't come back to us on this, asking Turkey to pull back its troops [from Qatar] is disrespectful against Turkey", he said. Qatar, which hosts the base for US air operations against Islamic State, views the action as an illegal siege.

According to Qatar's economy minister, Nihat Zeybekci, Turkey has sent more than 120 cargo planes of supplies to the emirate. "I told this openly to my brother, Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Adil [al-Jubeyir], on the phone last night", Hurriyet Daily News reported that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavusoglu told reporters on June 25 in Antalya.


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