President Trump And His Secretary Of State, On Qatar
- Author: Zachary Reyes Jun 10, 2017,
Jun 10, 2017, 18:04
Bahrain joined Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and several other countries on Monday when it cut diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing its fellow Gulf Arab state of backing terrorism and interfering in Bahrain's internal affairs.
Trump added that "all reference was pointing to Qatar".
In the past 24 hours, the Trump administration has taken a harder line with Qatar, a long-time Gulf ally where some 10,000 American troops are based. "We lead the region in attacking the roots of terrorism", the Qatari statement said.
Now, he said, at a Rose Garden news conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, "the time had come to call on Qatar to end its funding" of extremist ideology.
Those two, Saad al-Kaabi and Abdul Latif al-Kawari, are among dozens of individuals and entities named Friday by Saudi Arabia and its three allies. In the call, the president, "offered to help the parties resolve their differences, including through a meeting at the White House if necessary", the White House said. Qatar has the largest US military base in the Middle East, and Tillerson said, "the blockade is hindering USA military actions in the region and the campaign against ISIS".
Erdogan also approved another accord between Turkey and Qatar on military training cooperation late on Thursday.
"Qatar's support for terrorist organizations, especially Hamas, threatens the security of its neighbors and the United States, impedes progress toward peace in the Holy Land, and encourages malign activities by other Middle East nations".
Qatar is home to the largest US military base in the region.
The Saudi Press Agency on Monday accused Qatari officials of repeatedly violating "their worldwide obligations and the agreements they signed under the umbrella of the Gulf Cooperation Council for Arab States to cease hostilities against [Saudi Arabia] and stand against terrorist activities". President Donald Trump also seemed to take credit for the rift between Qatar and multiple Gulf nations over Twitter on Tuesday.
Tillerson said the blockade was "impairing USA and other worldwide business activities in the region", and had also caused inadvertent humanitarian consequences.
Tillerson said the United States supported efforts by the emir of Kuwait to mediate the crisis, and said "the elements of a solution are available".
"We are not ready to surrender, and will never be ready to surrender the independence of our foreign policy", he told reporters later, adding: "No one will break us".
Tillerson on Friday urged Qatar to be "responsive" to the concerns of its neighbours as he called on Doha to halt financial and other support for terrorists.