Trump offers to host summit on Qatar crisis

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"I decided. the time had come to call on Qatar to end its funding", he said.

Tillerson was sitting in the front row.

But Tillerson hinted at a wrinkle in the storyline: the breakdown in diplomatic relations is impairing US mediation in the Middle East because Qatar hosts a USA air base with 10,000 troops.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are toying with the lives of thousands of Persian Gulf residents in a dispute with Qatar, splitting up families and destroying peoples' livelihoods and education, the release reads.

They accused the tiny Gulf state of harboring extremist groups and suggested Qatari support for the agenda of Saudi Arabia's regional archrival Iran.

According to the White House, Mr. Trump also reiterated the importance of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), in the wake of several key GCC members, including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, cutting off diplomatic relations with Qatar.

Trump had asked Tillerson to help mediate the crisis, and the secretary has been calling his counterparts in the region to "de-escalate" the situation and resolve their grievances. "They have to end that funding and its extremist ideology in terms of funding".

"The leaders agreed the decision came after Qatar insisted on taking a path that is harmful to Arab states and after attempts to prevent it from supporting terrorist groups", the statement said.

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The outlines of any US -led mediation are unclear so far, and Nauert said she didn't have details to announce.

The present tension in the Gulf started right after Trump left the region.

As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tries to heal a deep rift among Arab partners, President Trump seems to be upping the ante. Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar is home to more than 11,000 US and coalition forces and an important base for the fight against Islamic State. The U.S. military has previously insisted that that it would not affect U.S. military operations in the region.

He suggested Qatar was funding extremism.

Tillerson said the blockade was "impairing U.S. and other global business activities in the region", and had also caused inadvertent humanitarian consequences.

Tillerson said Qatar has a history of supporting groups across a wide political spectrum, including those that engage in violence, and that the emir of Qatar had made progress in halting financial support for terrorism but that he must do more.

Responding to Tillerson's comments, Erdogan said, "Tillerson's comments on Qatar is positive but not enough, all the sanctions must be halted completely". We call on Qatar to be responsive to the concerns of its neighbors.

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