International efforts intensify to resolve Gulf dispute

Frederick Owens
June 20, 2017

Trump said he spoke with regional leaders in the wake of a recent meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and he had decided it was time to call on Qatar to end its support of terrorist groups.

The announcement came a day after Senegal recalled its envoy from Doha, citing its "active solidarity" with Saudi Arabia.

In Tillerson's speech, he said that although the emir has made progress halting financial support for terrorist elements and expelling them from the country, "he must do more and he must do it more quickly".

However, the Qatari foreign minister downplayed the likelihood of military conflict. The votes came just days after five Arab countries cut ties with the Gulf state, Anadolu reported.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday evening called for lifting the blockade against Qatar, reaffirming Turkey's support for the Arab country.

Speaking in a rare interview, the Emirati minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, said that Qatar has "chosen to ride the tiger of extremism and terrorism" and now needed to pay the price.

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"It's important that the Gulf be united for peace and security in the region", the senior official told Reuters.

A preliminary investigation has confirmed that Qatar's state news agency was hacked, and false statements attributed to the country's ruler were posted that helped ignite a rift with other Gulf states, the Qatari foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

Amid a raging diplomatic face-off between Qatar and its neighbours, US President Donald Trump has accused Doha of "historically" being a funder of terrorism and asked the Gulf emirate along with other nations to stop "teaching hate". Saudi Arabia also closed Qatar's only land border. "This is what we expect from Saudi, the Custodian of the Holy Mosques in Mecca and Medina", Erdogan added.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry accused on Monday Qatar of sheltering leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, outlawed in Russian Federation, as well as disseminating the ideology of Daesh and al-Qaeda terror groups, both banned in Russian Federation.

Kuwait is leading efforts to find a mediated solution.

Qatar strongly denied the earlier allegations and expressed a willingness to engage in talks to resolve the crisis. "Iran benefits from any issue or crisis between its neighbors", he said, pointing out that Doha enjoys "fine" relations with Tehran and shares a large gas field.

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