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US State Department questions Gulf motives on Qatar boycott

22 Juin 2017

"At this point, we are left with one simple question: Were the actions really about their concerns regarding Qatar's alleged support for terrorism, or were they about the long simmering grievances", department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a news briefing on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Trump discussed the Qatar row with Saudi Arabia's newly-appointed crown prince, on a call during which he also offered his congratulations to the new heir to the throne.

The UAE threatened the sanctions could continue for years unless Qatar agreed to Arab demands, although none had been made yet.

Doha's Ministry of Municipality and Environment has also set up a team of drivers, animal experts and other staff to help camel owners. Travel, the voiceover says, "goes beyond borders and prejudice".

The sale "will give a state of the art capability and increase security cooperation and interoperability between the United States and Qatar", the Defence Department said.

Although President Donald Trump originally praised the Gulf states for the blockade, the administration has since been involved in efforts to encourage the countries involved to enter talks to resolve the crisis. Some 15,000 Qatari camels have been deported from Saudi Arabia amid a rift between the two countries.

But it plunged the U.S., also a Saudi ally, into a delicate balancing act because of its Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, where it has some 10,000 troops.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are two of America's closest allies.

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On June 9, Tillerson asked reporters to the State Department to read a prepared statement calling for the blockade to be eased, saying it was causing humanitarian and business hardships, and hindering US military actions against the Islamic State. The tiny state's four neighbors cut off diplomatic ties this month, arguing that Qatar funds terrorism.

"And now, hosting its own foreign minister in your capital?"

"So good to see [my] Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries paying off", he wrote.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have long objected to Qatar's more liberal support for political Islam, including the Muslim Brotherhood.

That is just above the price seen in November, when OPEC and 10 other oil-producing countries agreed to cut their production to combat a growing supply glut and push the market up.

There are more than 10,000 American service members at the USA central command base in Qatar.

"They (US producers) have added more than 900,000 barrels to their daily output in the last few months, which was bigger than OPEC forecasts", Zanganeh said on the sidelines of a Cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday, Shana reported.

"We are encouraging all sides to de-escalate tensions and engage in constructive dialogue", Nauert said.

US State Department questions Gulf motives on Qatar boycott