As Tillerson calls for calm, Trump calls out Qatar on terror

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and several other countries severed diplomatic and transport ties with Doha on Monday, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants and their arch-foe Iran - charges Qatar says are baseless. "There are humanitarian consequences to this blockade".

"We believe these are unintended consequences, especially during the holy month of Ramadan", he added.

President Donald Trump declared Friday that the time has come for Qatar to halt all funding of terrorism, as a diplomatic stand-off between the Gulf emirate and its neighbors escalated.

The Trump administration is insisting that Qatar drop all connections with the Muslim Brotherhood - both inside its borders and in other countries, including Jordan, CBS News foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Brennan reports. "Do we take the easy road, or do we finally take a hard but necessary action?" he said.

Qatar said it led the region in attacking what it called the roots of terrorism, giving young people hope through jobs, educating hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and funding community programs to challenge extremist agendas, Reuters indicated.

It also hosts the biggest American military base in the Middle East.

"Sorry, but we will continue to give all kinds of support to Qatar", he said.

JEDDAH: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Qatar must do more, "more quickly" to combat extremism.

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Qatar's ambassador to the USA told the Financial Times on Thursday that Saudi Arabia and its allies planned to give a list of demands - expected to include issues related to terrorism - to Doha within 10 days and that the Qatari leadership would consider taking action where they felt it was appropriate.

"I won't name other countries but we are not done solving the problem, but we will solve that problem", he said.

"Qatar remains critical for coalition air operations in the fight against ISIS and around the region". "No more funding", Trump said.

A spokesman said that, while military operations against Islamic State from Qatar had not been interrupted, the "evolving situation is hindering our ability to plan for longer-term military operations".

A separate SPA report on Saturday acknowledged Tillerson's call for Qatar to curtail support for terrorism, but did not mention his remarks that the crisis was hurting ordinary Qataris, impairing business dealings and harming the U.S. fight against the Islamic State militant group.

Tillerson, tapped by the White House to mediate the Arab diplomatic crisis, said the emir of Qatar has taken steps to cut back on terrorism financing and has been banishing extremists.

President Trump recently returned from a visit to Saudi Arabia where he hoped to strengthen the U.S. Gulf-Cooperation Council (GCC), of which Qatar and blockade participants are members.

  • Ronnie Bowen