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Tillerson says dispute with Qatar destabilizes Gulf region, undermines unity
August 2, 2017, 8:31 am

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson affirmed Tuesday that the US is "concerned" over Qatar-Gulf crisis, saying it is "destabilizing" to the Gulf region and "undermines the unity" of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Making a guest appearance at the State Department briefing, Tillerson told reporters "we are quite concerned about this dispute (between the Quartet plus Egypt and Qatar) because we think it is destabilizing to the Gulf itself and undermines the unity in the GCC which we believe is an important organization to maintain stability in the region."

He added "we have been engaged" working with H.H. the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah "who has taken on the effort to mediate this dispute."

Tillerson shed light on his recent trip to the region, saying it was "intense" and "useful" and that he has maintained telephone contacts with all the parties on an almost daily basis "talking to them about the current situation."

He affirmed that an "important part" of his trip was the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Qatar, saying "we are implementing that agreement and Qatar is fluffing its commitments to us under that agreement and I think that will be important to building confidence within the region as well."

"We know there is a great deal of reconciliation that has to occur," he stressed and that the "objective" is not only to have them start talking "but to sit down at the table and begin a discussion of dialogue."

Tillerson reiterated, "we are committed to see this disagreement resolved, restore the Gulf unity because I think it is important to the long term effort to defeat terrorism in the region."

Assistant secretary Tim Lenderking will be heading back to the region "so we can maintain a constant pressure on the ground," Tillerson remarked.

Source: KUNA

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