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

10 June 2017

"Qatar has made efforts to prosecute significant terrorist financiers".

Turkey has meanwhile brought forward a planned troop deployment to Qatar.

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 list includes the International Union of Muslim Scholars' Egyptian chairman, Yousef al-Qaradawi, and Abdullah bin Khalid, a former interior minister of Qatar.

The Qatari capital Doha has regularly been used by teams from nations incapable of playing games on home soil due to adverse security situations or as a result of diplomatic rows with other countries in the region.

"This list is connected to Qatar and serves suspicious agendas in an indication of the duality of Qatar policies", read the statement from the four countries, adding "they won't be lenient in pursuing" those on the list.

"We have been isolated because we are successful and progressive".

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With supply chains disrupted and anxiety mounting about deepening economic turbulence, banks and firms in Gulf Arab states were trying to keep business links to Qatar open and avoid a costly firesale of assets. "We're seeing shortages of food [in Qatar], families are being forcibly separated, and children pulled out of school", he said. Are we living really in the 21st century?

Qatar is the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas. "Others must also continue to eliminate factions of support for violent organizations within their own borders."In an apparent escalation of the crisis, staff at Al Jazeera, Qatar's influential satellite television news channel which often infuriates the rulers of the Arab world, said its computer systems had come under cyber attack".

A blockade against Qatar by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states was not affecting current operations against Islamic State, but was "hindering" the ability to plan for long-term operations, the Pentagon said on Friday.

The president spoke to the Emir of Qatar Wednesday and proposed a meeting with Gulf leaders to resolve the tension in the region.

But a Qatari official said on Thursday the emir would not be accepting the invitation.

But Sheikh Mohammed told the AP that Sheikh Tamim "is not going to leave the country while the country is in blockade", in effect turning down the mediation offer. Though the president said others, too, were guilty of supporting terrorism, he said he would not name them.

The blockade is also impairing USA and other global business activities in the region and has created a hardship on the people of Qatar and the people whose livelihoods depend on commerce with Qatar.

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Responding to the list overnight, Qatar issued a statement saying: "We do not, have not and will not support terrorist groups". Speaking in the Rose Garden, the president said Qatar had "historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level".

Tillerson, whom Trump has tasked with de-escalating the dispute, said it is "troubling to the United States, the region and to many people who are directly affected".

"The feeling here is that it is going to take a while to fix". "No more funding", the president said.

"What is the crime that Qatar committed to deserve this collective punishment that violates all worldwide laws?" he said. A declaration of war. We can't prosper economically, socially in the midst of such a region with what's happening around us. It provides a haven to anti-Western groups like the Afghan Taliban, Palestinian Hamas and Algeria's Islamic Salvation Front but says it does not accept its neighbours' view that any group with an Islamist background is terrorist.

The statement follows a similar move by the UAE this week, which warned that anyone expressing sympathy for Qatar could be jailed for up to 15 years.

"The bottom line is that today the Qatari government has a decision to make".

"The time had come to call on Qatar to end its funding - they have to end that funding - and its extremist ideology in terms of funding", Trump said.

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