The United States and Qatar have agreed to coordinate with each other to protect Qatar’s interests and sovereignty from external threats, Al Jazeera reported on Tuesday.
US secretaries of state and defence said on Tuesday that a united Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is important for regional stability, and called on all sides in the dispute between Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to resolve the Gulf crisis.
“It is critical that all parties minimise rhetoric, exercise restraint to avoid further escalation and work toward a resolution,” secretary of state Rex Tillerson said at a joint appearance by the ministers.
The crisis began in June last year when the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar and imposed a blockade on the country over allegations of supporting terrorism, which Qatar vehemently denies.
Tillerson called for GCC unity without addressing criticism to any country. Instead he stressed the importance of ending the disputes.
“As the Gulf dispute nears the eight-month mark, the United States remains as concerned today as we were at its outset,” Tillerson said.
“This dispute has had direct negative consequences economically and militarily for those involved as well as the United States,” he added.
Photo: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with the Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in Doha, Qatar, on 11 July 2017.