World Bulletin / News Desk
The U.S.' top diplomat on Friday urged Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies to ease a blockade on Qatar while calling on Doha to do more to end its alleged support of terror groups.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters at the State Department that in addition to "creating a hardship on the people of Qatar" the ongoing blockade by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt is "hindering" the U.S.-led effort to combat ISIL.
However, top U.S. officials, including Tillerson, had earlier said they did not anticipate the Saudi-led effort would impact anti-ISIL operations.
Tillerson further called on Doha to "do more" and "more quickly" to withdraw support for extremist groups, but asked that no further escalation between Qatar and the other countries take place.
On Monday, five Arab countries -- Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Yemen -- abruptly cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism -- a charge Doha denies.
Mauritania followed suit the following day, while Jordan downgraded its diplomatic relations with Doha.
Saudi Arabia has also closed its land borders with Qatar, geographically isolating the tiny Gulf state.
Tillerson said the U.S. will support Kuwait-led efforts to mediate an end to the diplomatic row.
During a phone call with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, U.S. President Donald Trump stressed the "importance of maintaining unity among Arab countries", according to the White House.Last Mod: 10 Haziran 2017, 02:09