Trump slams Qatar for funding terror as Tillerson urges calm

Jerome Frank
June 15, 2017

Saudi Arabia and allies, which have cut ties with Doha, on Friday issued a list of individuals and entities they say are linked to Qatar over "terrorism".

Arguably the most prominent person named is Yousef al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood network.

Saudi Arabia's closure of Qatar's only land border earlier this week sparked fears of major price hikes and food shortages for its population of 2.7 million people, with long queues forming as some supermarkets began running out of stock.

Qatar added that it has been vigorously working to eliminate the roots of terrorism by creating jobs for young people, educating Syrian refugees and funding community programs to oppose extremist propaganda.

A Turkish delegation would go to Qatar in the coming days to assess the situation at the base, where around 90 Turkish soldiers are now based, it said.

The legislation, which also foresees cooperation in military training, was rapidly passed in parliament on Wednesday, a day after Erdogan openly sided with Qatar and criticized other Gulf countries' moves to isolate it.

The United Arab Emirates said on Friday that Qatar must acknowledge concerns about its "troubling support for extremism" and "re-examine its regional policies".

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The new stance suggests a desire by the administration to support Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations that cut diplomatic ties with Qatar earlier this week - essentially picking sides in a regional row in the heart of the Sunni Muslim world. Davis said the diplomatic rift has not interrupted or curtailed operations at al-Udeid air base, a launching pad for USA military efforts in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

Qatar Airways and Al Jazeera news agency are the high profile companies who are caught between this diplomatic spat between the gulf nations.

Tiny Qatar has played an outsized role as a sponsor of factions in wars and revolutions across the Middle East under its 37-year-old ruler, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and his father Hamad who stepped down in 2013 after 18 years in power.

"Our position on countering terrorism is stronger than numerous signatories of the joint statement - a fact that has been conveniently ignored by the authors", it said in a statement.

The four Arab states severed relations with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants and their arch-adversary Iran - charges Qatar rejects.

Erdogan also said that Turkey "will continue and develop" ties with Qatar. Though the president said others, too, were guilty of supporting terrorism, he said he would not name them.

Turkish officials were not immediately available to comment on the report, but Hurriyet said there were plans to send some 200 to 250 soldiers within two months.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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