Tillerson calls on Arab nations to ease blockade on Qatar

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks to the media on Friday, June 9, 2017.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is calling on Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to immediately ease their blockade on Qatar.

Tillerson says the blockade is hindering U.S. military efforts and the campaign against the Islamic State group. Previously, the U.S. had insisted the Qatar crisis wouldn’t affect U.S. military efforts in the Middle East.

Tillerson says the U.S. will support efforts to mediate the crisis along with Kuwait. He says the elements of a resolution are available. He says the U.S. asks that there be “no further escalation.”

Tillerson is also calling on Qatar to address the concerns of other Arab nations. He says Qatar has a history of supporting violent groups. He says Qatar has taken steps to address that concern but must do more.

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