Rex Tillerson urges easing of blockade against Qatar
Jun 11 2017
The information added that in the raids were also confiscated "many documents and weapons" that were in the hands of the individuals to whom the authorities linked them with "Wahhabi cells", referring to the predominant Sunni Islamic conservative doctrine in Saudi Arabia.
"There are humanitarian consequences to this blockade", Mr Tillerson said in Washington.
Qatar has vowed to ride out the isolation imposed on it by fellow Arab states and said it would not compromise its sovereignty over foreign policy to resolve the region's biggest diplomatic crisis in years.
Mr Tillerson said the ongoing row was having an effect on regional co-operation on countering extremism.
Back in May, Saudi deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who is also defence minister, ruled out the likeliness of establishing friendly ties with Iran, and said that holding talks with Iran is impossible, as Tehran's goal is to "control the Muslim world".
The escalating crisis in the Persian Gulf erupted Monday, when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut ties to Qatar, accusing the country of tolerating or even encouraging support for extremist groups, including al-Qaida's Syria branch.
Tillerson said the United States supported efforts by the emir of Kuwait to mediate the crisis, and said "the elements of a solution are available". Tillerson said the blockade was causing food shortages, the forced separation of families and children being pulled out of school.
Tillerson said the blockade was "impairing United States and other worldwide business activities in the region", and had also caused inadvertent humanitarian consequences.
Turkish mass-circulation newspaper Hurriyet reported on Friday that after an initial deployment of Turkish troops at a base in Doha, Turkish warplanes and ships will also be sent.
"Fighting terrorism and extremism is no longer a choice, rather. a commitment requiring decisive and swift action to cut off all funding sources for terrorism regardless of its financier", the Saudi Press Agency cited an official source as saying. "The emir of Qatar has made progress in halting financial support and expelling terrorist elements from his country".
Tillerson said he has spoken with "many" leaders in the region in the last few days, and that those conversation have shown him a solution is possible. This story was updated at 2:40 p.m.