Tillerson, Mattis Meet with Qatari Officials Amid Tensions in Persian Gulf

Posted February 01, 2018

Qatar is a strong and valued military partner to the United States, Defense Secretary James. However the overall significance of the dialogue on the blockade and US-Qatar partnership is still awaited.

United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed on Tuesday Washington's willingness to further develop intelligence exchange revolving around terror cases and suspects with Doha, Qatar.

He further stressed that all parties must "minimize rhetoric, exercise restraint to avoid further escalation, and work toward a resolution".

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defence Secretary James Mattis welcomed Qatar's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs H E Dr Khalid bin Muhammad Al Attiyah for the strategic dialogue at the US State Department.

And, a united Gulf Cooperation Council "bolsters our effectiveness on many fronts, particularly on countering terrorism, defeating [ISIS], and countering the spread of Iran's malign influence", he said.

At the same time, the sheikh lamented the ongoing diplomatic rift between and its neighbors, asserting that " and its people have been illegally and unjustifiably blockaded" by, and the.

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"The United States enjoys a longstanding defense relationship with Qatar", Mattis said. We have stood together many time in the face of tyranny, fought those who defied the rule of law, and walked jointly to confront the complex and expensive challenges that face our region today, he said. Qatar's Government Communication Office tweeted that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Qatar is a reliable USA partner and follows through on its commitments.

The rift among Arab nations within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - a US -backed political-military alliance in the region - has put on shaky diplomatic ground there, with the Trump administration resistant to side completely with because of American interests in.

"As the Gulf dispute nears the eight month mark, the United States remains as concerned today as we were at its outset", said Tillerson.

More so, both the USA and Qatari officials signed three memorandums of understanding on security cooperation and other issues.

They are "sending the message that America cares about this and the crisis needs to be resolved", she added.

According to Qatar's defense minister, Qatar plans to add 200 more housing units to the Al-Udeid Air Base, crucial to the US-led counter-terrorist campaign, so that United States troops deployed there on a permanent basis can feel at home.

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