1. US says worst behind us in Qatar crisis

US says worst behind us in Qatar crisis

Progress has been made towards resolving the crisis between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors after senior US officials met leading players in the standoff, the State Department has said.

By: | Washington | Published: June 14, 2017 5:04 AM
US, worst behind us, Qatar crisis, Rex Tillerson, Heather Nauert, Qatar Progress has been made towards resolving the crisis between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors after senior US officials met leading players in the standoff, the State Department has said. (Reuters)

Progress has been made towards resolving the crisis between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors after senior US officials met leading players in the standoff, the State Department has said. “I would characterise the mood and the approach to that as being one that is hopeful, that believes that the worst is behind us,” spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters yesterday. Earlier, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had met Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, whose government accuses Qatar of sponsoring extremist groups and has closed its border. Tillerson and US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis have been working the telephones attempting to de-escalate the crisis between Riyadh and Qatar, which hosts a huge US air base. Nauert refused to say whether Washington regards Qatar as a sponsor of terror or whether the closure of the border and ban on Qatari flights in Saudi airspace amount to a “blockade.”

“Let’s keep in mind that everyone has agreed or these parties are working toward an agreement of combating terrorism, and that is the main focus,” she said. “And let’s not get bogged down in all the details about who’s calling what when. This is trending in a positive direction. And let’s stay focused on that so that we can continue to fight the war on terror.” Earlier, appearing alongside Tillerson — who last week had urged that the “blockade” be eased — Jubeir had insisted: “It’s not a blockade.”

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