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US supports Kuwait mediation efforts in GCC dispute involving Qatar
June 10, 2017, 9:37 am
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah meets with UAEs Vice Pres.

The US supports mediation efforts of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait to bring about a peaceful resolution to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) dispute with Qatar, as well as progress toward eliminating all forms of support for terrorism -- military, financial, moral or ideological, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Friday.

"Yes, we'll support these mediation efforts, along with the (His Highness) Amir of Kuwait" Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Tillerson said in remarks at the State Department.

Three weeks ago, President Donald Trump joined members of the GCC "in a strong show of partnership, repudiation of extremism and a plan to defeat terrorism of all kinds in the region and around the world," Tillerson said. "Now the situation in the Arabian Gulf over the last few days is troubling to the United States, the region and to many people who are directly affected."

The US wishes to reaffirm its commitment to the spirit of the summit held last month in Riyadh, he said.
"As we combine efforts to defeat the military, financial and ideological support of terrorists, we expect to see progress in the Arab world toward greater political expression," he said.

"An important pathway to attack Islamic extremism and to prevent political activism from escalating into violence is to allow marginalized voices opportunities for political expression." But this process requires regional and global consensus, and mutual understanding, he said.

The GCC Summit creates a platform to achieve this consensus and understanding, he added.
"We call for calm and thoughtful dialogue with clear expectations and accountability among the parties in order to strengthen relationships," Tillerson said. "We ask that there be no further escalation by the parties in the region.

"We call on Qatar to be responsive to the concerns of its neighbors," he said. "Qatar has a history of supporting groups that have spanned the spectrum of political expression, from activism to violence." The Amir 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, he said.
"Again, that was a commitment made by all at the summit," he said.

"We call on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt to ease the blockade against Qatar." There are humanitarian consequences to the blockade, Tillerson said.
"We're seeing shortages of food, families are being forcibly separated, and children are being pulled out of school," he said.

"We believe these are unintended consequences, especially during this holy month of Ramadan, but they can be addressed immediately." The blockade is also impairing US and other international business activities in the region, Tillerson said.

It has created a hardship on the people of Qatar, and the people whose livelihoods depend on commerce with Qatar, he added.
"The blockade is hindering US military actions in the region and the campaign against ISIS," he said, referring to the so-called Islamic State.

"In the last few days I've spoken to many leaders in the region, and as I've said to all of them, we know you're stronger together," Tillerson said.
"It is clear to me based on these conversations that the elements of a solution are available," he said.

"The GCC must emerge united and stronger to show the world the GCC's resolve in its fight against violence and terrorism, and its commitment to countering the threat from terrorism.
"Our expectation is that these countries will immediately take steps to de-escalate the situation, and put forth a good-faith effort to resolve their grievances they have with each other," he added.

Source: KUNA

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