Trump slams Qatar for funding terror as Tillerson urges calm

  • Trump slams Qatar for funding terror as Tillerson urges calm

Trump slams Qatar for funding terror as Tillerson urges calm

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is calling on Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to immediately ease their blockade on Qatar.

The U.S. has taken a careful diplomatic approach to the dispute, allying itself with both Saudi Arabia and Qatar. "We can live forever like this, we are well prepared", Sheikh Mohammed said.

The Qatari ambassador to Washington, Meshal Hamad al-Thani, wrote on Twitter that a key pillar of Doha's foreign policy was mediation.

On Monday, the tiny, oil- and gas-rich state was cut off and isolated by some of the Arab world's most powerful countries.

Those comments stood in contrast to the more nuanced, de-escalatory comments of Tillerson, who was also in the Rose Garden during Trump's remarks.

Egypt and Bahrain said in a statement published by the Saudi news agency that 59 people, including Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousef al-Qaradawi, and 12 entities, among them Qatari-funded charities Qatar Charity and Eid Charity, were named.

The route is now closed after Qatar's diplomatic isolation by Saudi Arabia-led allies.

Nor is the President wrong in his assertion that Qatar has a longstanding problem with terrorist financing.

Asian football officials are monitoring the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and other Arab states, hoping to minimise the impact on global competitions being played in the Gulf region.

"The next step is for Qatar to acknowledge these concerns and commit to re-examine its regional policies", Mr Al Otaiba said. He also called King Salman of Saudi Arabia, saying that cooperation among Gulf nations was "critical to defeating terrorism and promoting regional stability", according to a White House statement.

Saudi Arabia has been criticized in the past for exporting a militant interpretation of Islam and because 15 of the 19 hijackers in the 2001 terrorist attacks on the US were Saudi citizens. Those have included supporting Islamic extremists and friendliness with Iran.

Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said: "While current operations from Al Udeid Air Base have not been interrupted or curtailed, the evolving situation is hindering our ability to plan for longer-term military operations".

Hours later supermarkets in Doha visited by a Reuters reporter had nearly run out of dairy products as scores of people waited in checkout lines and stocked up on beans and other staples.

Qatar, which has developed an assertive foreign policy over the past decade, denies that it supports militants and says it is helping to reduce the threat of terrorism by backing groups that fight poverty and seek political reform.

Tillerson says the blockade is hindering USA military efforts and the campaign against the Islamic State group.

Pan-Arab satellite network al-Jazeera is fighting a large-scale cyber-attack but remained fully operational, a company source said on Thursday.

The blockade is also impeding USA and other worldwide business activities in the region, Tillerson said, creating hardship for the people of Qatar and people whose livelihood depends on doing business with Qatar.

Kuwait's ruler, who is mediating in the crisis, asked him to postpone a speech to the nation earlier this week to give dialogue efforts a chance.