As Tillerson calls for calm, Trump calls out Qatar on terror

Gwen Vasquez
June 10, 2017

He said that while he was meeting with Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia last month and calling for them to unify against extremism, they had "pointed" at Qatar as a terrorism funder.

But Tillerson focused on asking the four nations to ease the blockade, citing humanitarian consequences like food shortages.

Schaefer told reporters German diplomats were in touch with State Department and National Security Council officials to clarify the us stance.

He has also repeated allegations made by Riyadh and Abu Dhabi about Doha's alleged funding terrorism through a series of tweets. Udeid hosts more than 10,000 personnel from United States and coalition forces, as well as more than 100 aircraft that are used in allied military operations in Iraq, Syria and other areas in the region.

The UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and other Arab states severed all ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing the country of funding terrorist organisations and backing Iran.

"The time had come to call on Qatar to end its funding", Trump said. "I think this is the most serious of all the other catalogues of other infringements". Qatar's neighbors have also criticized Qatar for allegedly supporting groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. "And its extremists ideology in terms of funding", he said.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt this week imposed the economic and diplomatic blockade on Qatar, in a severe escalation of a long-running regional dispute.

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As Qatar faces diplomatic and trade turmoil, Turkish parliament has approved legislation that will send Turkish troops to one of the country's military bases in Qatar, according to Al Jazeera. Qatar's foreign minister rejected attempts to interfere in the country's foreign policy and said a "military solution" to the country's crisis with its Gulf neighbours was not an option.

But Husseini, who now runs consultancy Husseini Energy, on Wednesday said Trump had focused attention on the risk posed to the Middle East energy industry by a lack of security and stability.

Tillerson said that the GCC "must emerge united and stronger" to show its resolve.

Tillerson's earlier statement that the "blockade" of Qatar is hurting USA economic and military efforts in the region contradicts Pentagon officials' insistence earlier in the week that there has been no impact on US operations in Qatar, or the fight against ISIS.

The statement added that Qatar does not support terrorist groups.

Al-Udeid is home to the forward headquarters of the US Special Operations Central Command (SOCCENT) and the US Air Force's Central Command (AFCENT), with advanced command and control infrastructure built up over the past 14 years, with Qatari funding.

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