- Title: U.S. says spat between Qatar and some Gulf nations won't affect counter-terrorism
- Date: 5th June 2017
- Summary: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (JUNE 5, 2017) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE REX TILLERSON, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE JIM MATTIS, AUSTRALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER JULIE BISHOP AND AUSTRALIAN MINISTER FOR DEFENCE MARISE PAYNE AT NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE REX TILLERSON, SAYING: "We certainly would encourage the parties to sit down together and address these differences. If there's any role that we can play in terms of helping them address those, we think it is important that the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) remain unified. I do not expect that this will have any significant impact, if any impact at all, on the unified, the unified fight against terrorism in the region or globally. All of those parties you mentioned have been quite unified in the fight against terrorism and the fight against Daesh, ISIS, and have expressed that most recently in the summit in Riyadh." BISHOP AND TILLERSON AT NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE JAMES MATTIS, SAYING: "I am confident there will be no implications coming out of this diplomatic situation at all. I say that based on the commitment that each of these nations that you've just referred to have made to this fight." MATTIS, TILLERSON, BISHOP AND PAYNE AT NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE JAMES MATTIS, SAYING: "I believe Iran's actions speak louder than anyone's words, and they are going to incite the international community in that region to try to block them in the various destabilising efforts they are undertaking right now from Syria, where Assad remains in power today, because of Iran's actions, to Yemen, where they have been contributing in an unhelpful way to a war that is marooning millions of people and leaving them vulnerable to starvation and health problems and violence." MATTIS, TILLERSON, BISHOP AND PAYNE SHAKING HANDS AND LEAVING NEWS CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 19th June 2017 08:49
- Keywords: diplomatic ties counter terror Julie Bishop Rex Tillerson
- Location: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
- City: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
- Country: Australia
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016K03HON
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Monday (June 5) that they did not expect a decision by some Gulf countries to sever ties with Qatar to affect the fight against terrorism but urged them to address their differences.
Tillerson was speaking in Sydney after meetings between Australian and U.S. foreign and defence ministers and said that the United States was willing to play a role in helping the countries address their differences.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed their ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting terrorism, in an unprecedented breach between the most powerful members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The coordinated move dramatically escalates a dispute over Qatar's support for the Muslim Brotherhood, the world's oldest Islamist movement, and adds accusations that Doha even backs the agenda of regional arch-rival Iran.
The region plays an important role for the U.S. military in the fight against Islamic State. Bahrain houses the U.S. Navy's Fifth fleet, which patrols the seas of the Middle East and Central Asia, while Qatar is home to the Al Udeid Airbase, from where the United States carries out airstrikes against militants in the region.
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