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19:39 14 December
11:13 14 December
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Trump calls on Qatar to stop "funding" terrorism


Taking what appeared to be a different position to Trump's hard line, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made clear on Friday he expected all parties to end the crisis, APA reports quoting Reuters.

 

"We call on the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt to ease the blockade against Qatar," he said in Washington.

 

Tillerson told reporters at the State Department that the crisis, which has cut transportation links and trade, had begun to hurt ordinary people in Qatar, impaired business dealings and harmed the U.S. battle against the Islamic State militant group.

 

Qatar is home to a vital U.S. military base. Shortly after Tillerson's remarks, the Pentagon said that while the Qatar blockade was not affecting current operations against Islamic State, it was "hindering" the ability to plan for long-term operations.

 

He demanded that Qatar, as well as the other nations, take steps to curtail support for terrorism. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states accuse Doha of supporting extremist groups, but Tillerson suggested that all sides needed to do more.

 

"The emir of Qatar has made progress in halting financial support and expelling terrorist elements from his country, but he must do more and he must do it more quickly," Tillerson said. "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.

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