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Saudi foreign minister says Gulf states alone can solve Qatar row

Parmenio Sano | 08 Giugno, 2017, 13:24

Reporters Without Borders yesterday condemned Saudi Arabia's decision to close the Riyadh office of Qatar's Al-Jazeera broadcaster after the kingdom and other Arab states severed ties with the emirate.

Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region have long had disputes with Qatar, but the rivalry intensified earlier this week when Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates said they would cut ties with Qatar, accusing the country of destabilizing the region.

Trump's broadside came as Kuwait's ruler flew to Saudi Arabia in a bid to resolve the worst diplomatic crisis to hit the Arab world in years. Qatar was also kicked out of the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.

The moves isolating Qatar, which denies aiding terrorists, are disrupting trade in commodities from crude oil to metals and food, and deepening fears of a possible jolt to the global gas market, where the tiny Gulf state is a major player.

Shortly after Trump's tweet, the White House released a statement saying that the US President and King Salman discussed ways to prevent terror financing and eliminate extremism in any country in the region.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that Middle Eastern leaders complained about Qatar when he demanded an end to support for radical ideology that encourages terrorism.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain further blocked Qatar from their airspace and requested all Qatari diplomats to leave within 48 hours.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash threatened more curbs if necessary and said Qatar needed to make "iron-clad" commitments to change policies on funding militants. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted: "So good to see Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off".

"All these stories about Qatar financing terrorism are fabricated", Ambassador Sheikh Meshal Bin Hamad Al-Thani told CNN on "Erin Burnett OutFront" on Tuesday.

His Excellency added that there was not a single piece of evidence that the State of Qatar was supporting radical Islamists, adding that official government bodies in the US praised the State of Qatar for its counter-terrorism efforts. CNN is reporting that United States investigators believe Russian hackers may have been behind the effort and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been sent to Qatar to help investigate.

Referring to the regional group that includes Qatar, the President also "reiterated that a united Gulf Cooperation Council and a strong United States-Gulf Cooperation Council partnership are critical to defeating terrorism and promoting regional stability".


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