Tillerson urges Gulf states to ease the Qatar blockade Trump previously cheered

Elias Hubbard
Июня 10, 2017

In its latest Country Reports on Terrorism, the US State Department said Qatar in 2015 froze assets and imposed travel bans on Kaabi and Kawari, both of whom are Qatari citizens.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged Saudi Arabia and other Gulf neighbors of Qatar to ease a blockade for humanitarian reasons, the BBC reports.

Qatar has consistently denied the accusations against it, suggesting the recent joint decision to sever ties was based on "baseless fabricated lies" and a mere attempt at enforcing guardianship over Doha.

Kuwait - which unlike most of its fellow Gulf Cooperation Council members has not cut off ties with Qatar - has been leading efforts to mediate.

He says that funding has to end.

Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians live and work in the oil-rich Gulf, sending money back to their families that is more crucial now than ever, as Egypt is mired in an economic crisis following years of unrest.

While Tillerson did call attention to Qatar's "history of supporting groups that span the spectrum of political expression, from activism to violence", he also highlighted the timing of the blockade. The emir of Qatar has made progress in halting financial support and expelling terrorist elements from his country, but he must do more and he must do it more quickly..

As the Gulf crisis deepened with four major Arab nations closing sea, air and land links with Qatar, India is beginning to worry about its over 6,30,000 nationals living in that country. Qatar hosts 8,000 USA military personnel at al Udeid, the largest US air base in the Middle East and a launchpad for USA -led strikes on the Islamic State militant group.

Others fear going back home, anxious that they will come under heightened scrutiny by security services who suspect they are linked to the Brotherhood, which Egypt now outlaws as a terror organization. We are seeing shortages of food. "But they can be addressed immediately".

The blockade is hindering USA military actions in the region and the campaign against ISIS.

Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani spoke to Tillerson and was due in Moscow on Saturday.

In a Reuters interview, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said it would be very complex to disentangle the "very diverse" business ties between Qatar and its neighbours but suggested this might be necessary. Moreover, it is in talks with Turkey and Iran to secure food supplies that were mainly imported from Saudi Arabia. The Arab states have also ordered Qataris out within 14 days.

After Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates (UAE) closed their airspace, only one narrow route remains for Qatari carriers to transport passengers - via Iran. It did not appear to include any Hamas-linked leaders or organizations.

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