Qatar as another source of tension betw US, Turkey

Share

Trump's comments came after his top diplomat Rex Tillerson appealed to Saudi Arabia and its regional allies to ease their blockade of Qatar, saying it is hindering U.S. military actions in the region and the fight against the Islamic State.

Five countries - Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Yemen and Bahrain - cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday over allegations that Doha is supporting Islamist groups and courting Iran.

Tillerson, speaking at the State Department, said the U.S. would help support efforts to mediate the crisis, along with Kuwait - another Gulf country that has stepped up to try to broker a resolution.

US President Donald Trump accused Qatar on Friday of funding terrorism "at a very high level", and said solving the problem in the tiny Persian Gulf nation could be "the beginning of the end of terrorism". They said they would take a hard line on funding extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar.

Tillerson said the blockade was hindering the US-led campaign against the Islamic State group and having humanitarian consequences for ordinary people. The administration is also demanding Qatar drop all support for Syria's Salafist groups; those which adhere to the ideology of al Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and their subsidiaries.

JEDDAH: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Qatar must do more, "more quickly" to combat extremism.

"Until today I have not witnessed Qatar give support to terror", Erdogan said in Istanbul, adding that the Arab states "declare foundations established to provide different services as terror organizations".

With about 11,000 military personnel, Al Udeid Air Base is the largest USA military installation in the Middle East and the forward headquarters of CENTCOM.

More news: Pakistan to become center stage of trade activities after SCO membership: Sartaj
More news: The charges against Bill Cosby and the sentences they carry
More news: Suspected North Korean drone photographed U.S. missile-defense site

He called on Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt to ease blockade on Qatar.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani was in Moscow on Saturday after talks in Germany on Friday.

The release cited Qatar's National Human Rights Committee's estimate of more than 11,000 nationals of the three nations living in Qatar.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan requested the full removal of a Saudi-led blockade of Qatar after approving the deployment of Turkish troops there, saying Riyadh needed to put brotherhood ahead of animosity. They also suspended all land, air and sea traffic with Qatar, ejected its diplomats and ordered Qatari citizens to leave their countries. Trump said "Nations came together and spoke to me about confronting Qatar over its behavior".

But Tillerson also noted that other countries must do more - and he urged Riyadh and its allies to soften their embargo.

The White House may have further fanned the flames of the crisis with a statement Wednesday condemning an attack in Qatar's ally Iran that killed 12 people.

The tough U.S. line was a rebuff for Qatar's efforts to reach out for support from overseas.

Qatar acknowledges its links to these groups, but denies that it supports terrorism.

Share