World Bulletin / News Desk
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday cancelled his attendance at next week's Organization of American States meeting in Mexico, opting to stay in Washington to focus on the diplomatic crisis in the Middle East.
"The secretary of state will continue his efforts to de-escalate tensions in the Middle East region through in-person meetings and phone conversations with Gulf and regional leaders," the State Department said in a statement.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and others severed diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar almost two weeks ago, accusing Doha of supporting extremist groups.
Qatar -- a longtime US ally -- denies the accusations.
But last week, US President Donald Trump expressed support for the Saudi-led allegations, charging that Qatar had "historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level."
Pentagon and State Department officials have since scrambled to reassure the emirate, which hosts the largest US airbase in the Middle East and the command headquarters for operations in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.
On Thursday, the United States agreed to a $12 billion warplane sale to Qatar, reaffirming its support.
Tillerson "has made more than a dozen phone calls and participated in several in-person meetings" in efforts to tamp down the crisis, the State Department said.
"The secretary will continue these efforts."
Egypt recently ceded sovereignty over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia
Despite its association with terrorism, Washington sees PYD as viable ally against ISIL in Syria
Move follows accusations that Saudi authorities were hindering entry of Hajj pilgrims from Qatar
Regime forces were killed in Jobar district of Damascus
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Tehran should continue with 2015 deal despite fresh US sanctions
An official Saudi source renews accusations against Tehran of 'spreading terrorism and extremism'
Four Arab states severed diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism
After the liberation of Mosul and loss of territory in Syria's Raqqa, ISIL terrorist group has become more active in the unrest in southern Philippines, Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and Nigeria’s Borno State.
Israeli media report reopening of Cairo embassy could be imminent after 8-month closure
Nearly 4.1 million Jordanians are eligible to vote in the election
Around 4,000 people near Hadalat crossing reportedly living only on flour, water
But Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano suggested there were more prospects now for the truth to be revealed.
Case number rapidly approaching ICRC projection of 600,000 infections by end-2017
Around 800 pilgrims are set to cross the terminal on Monday
Medhat Shousha quits in wake of deadly train accident
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rarely addresses the Kurdish issue.