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

Posted June 11, 2017

External affairs ministry said India is closely following the emerging situation in the region in the wake of the recent decision by Saudi Arabia and some other countries to break diplomatic relations with the State of Qatar.

The US has called on the Gulf states to "de-escalate" their row with Qatar, saying it has caused unintended "humanitarian" consequences. "We're seeing shortages of food [in Qatar], families are being forcibly separated, and children pulled out of school", he said.

"We call for all contradictions to be resolved at the negotiation table through a mutually respectful dialogue", Lavrov said, adding Arab states should unite to effectively fight terrorism.

Tillerson sat a few feet away from Trump in the Rose Garden as the president put the blame squarely on Qatar. "The nation of Qatar, unfortunately, has been a funder of terrorism at a very high level". It's unclear what cherrypicking aides did to make that look persuasive, considering Trump has been all accusatory bluster to Tillerson's composed restraint. "Do we take the easy road, or do we finally take a hard but necessary action?" he said.

A Qatari official had no immediate comment on the designations but said that Qatar adheres to United Nations Security Council resolutions on countering terrorism including eradicating sources of financing for terrorism.

Saudi Arabia said it was committed to "decisive and swift action to cut off all funding sources for terrorism" in a statement carried by the state news agency SPA, while Bahrain hailed US efforts to ensure "international solidarity" on the issue.

He added that it hurts US business activities and the USA effort to fight the terror group ISIS.

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Their joint statement also listed 12 entities, among them Qatari-funded charities Qatar Charity and Eid Charity, as having terrorist links.

The terrorist designations, also enacted by Bahrain and Egypt, were announced early on Friday, after the Turkish parliament approved accelerated plans to send troops to the country's base in Qatar, and as Doha called for U.S. president Donald Trump to mediate.

Qatar isn't the only Gulf nation accused of not sufficiently cracking down on support for extremist groups. But at the Pentagon, a spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, said only long-term military planning was affected.

Those tweets raised questions about how isolation would affect the USA military base in Qatar, as well as how the diplomatic stress will affect American priorities and goals in the region. Turkey and Qatar have both provided support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and backed rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. "And its extremist ideology, in terms of funding". He says Qatar has a history of supporting violent groups. "We do not, have not and will not support terrorist groups", said the statement. "Stop teaching people to kill other people".

Tillerson said that after speaking with Gulf leaders it is clear "that the elements of a solution are available" and that the US expects "that these countries will immediately take steps to de-escalate the situation and put forth a good faith effort to resolve their grievances they have with each other".

Incidentally, an "unnamed source" conveniently told MSNBC yesterday that Trump may have publicly celebrated the blockade of Qatar because he simply doesn't know that Centcom is based there.