U.S. calls on Arab states to ease Qatar blockade as crisis deepens

Doha Qatar
Doha Qatar

The United States on Friday called on Arab states to ease their blockade on Qatar and demanded all sides move to calm tensions that intensified with a Turkish offer to send troops, warships and planes to aid its Qatari ally.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain, which on Monday cut ties with Qatar and accused it of fomenting instability, tightened their squeeze by putting dozens of figures with links to the tiny, wealthy nation on terrorism blacklists.

In something of a reversal of U.S. President Donald Trump’s suggestion earlier this week that he sided with Saudi Arabia and other countries against Qatar, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made clear on Friday that he expected all parties to end the crisis.

“We call on the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt to ease the blockade against Qatar,” he said in Washington.

Tillerson told reporters at the State Department that the crisis, which has cut transportation links and trade, had begun to hurt ordinary people in Qatar, impaired business dealings and harmed the U.S. battle against the Islamic State militant group.

He demanded that Qatar, as well as the other nations, take steps to curtail support for terrorism. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states accuse Doha of supporting extremist groups, but Tillerson suggested that all sides needed to do more.

“The emir of Qatar has made progress in halting financial support and expelling terrorist elements from his country, but he must do more and he must do it more quickly,” Tillerson said. “Others must also continue to eliminate factions of support for violent organizations within their own borders.”

In an apparent escalation of the crisis, staff at Al Jazeera, Qatar’s influential satellite television news channel which often infuriates the rulers of the Arab world, said its computer systems had come under cyber attack.

Riyadh, Cairo and their allies accuse Qatar, the world’s richest country per capita, of supporting militant Islamist movements across the region. They have imposed what Qatar says is a blockade of shipping and air traffic and closed Qatar’s only land border, causing panic buying at supermarkets and provoking confusion and anxiety across the population.

Qatar, which has developed an assertive foreign policy over the past decade, denies that it supports militants and says it is helping to reduce the threat of terrorism by backing groups that fight poverty and seek political reform.

Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani called the moves by Arab neighbors and others “clear violations of international law and international humanitarian law.

“They will not have a positive impact on the region but a negative one,” the minister said during a visit to Germany.

Qatar has vowed to ride out the isolation imposed on it by fellow Arab states and said it would not compromise its sovereignty over foreign policy to resolve the region’s biggest diplomatic crisis in years.

List of designated individuals:

Khalifa Mohammed Turki al-Subaie – Qatari

Abdelmalek Mohammed Yousef Abdel Salam – Jordanian

Ashraf Mohammed Yusuf Othman Abdel Salam – Jordanian

Ibrahim Eissa Al-Hajji Mohammed Al-Baker – Qatari

Abdulaziz bin Khalifa al-Attiyah – Qatari

Salem Hassan Khalifa Rashid al-Kuwari – Qatari

Abdullah Ghanem Muslim al-Khawar – Qatari

Saad bin Saad Mohammed al-Kaabi – Qatari

Abdullatif bin Abdullah al-Kuwari – Qatari

Mohammed Saeed Bin Helwan al-Sakhtari – Qatari

Abdul Rahman bin Omair al-Nuaimi – Qatari

Abdul Wahab Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Hmeikani – Yemeni

Khalifa bin Mohammed al-Rabban – Qatari

Abdullah Bin Khalid al-Thani – Qatari

Abdul Rahim Ahmad al-Haram – Qatari

Hajjaj bin Fahad Hajjaj Mohammed al-Ajmi – Kuwaiti

Mubarak Mohammed al-Ajji – Qatari

Jaber bin Nasser al-Marri – Qatari

Yusuf Abdullah al-Qaradawi – Egyptian

Mohammed Jassim al-Sulaiti – Qatari

Ali bin Abdullah al-Suwaidi – Qatari

Hashem Saleh Abdullah al-Awadhi – Qatari

Ali Mohammed Mohammed al-Salabi – Libyan

Abdelhakim Belhadj – Libyan

Mahdi Harati – Libyan

Ismail Muhammad Mohammed al-Salabi – Libyan

Al-Sadiq Abdulrahman Ali al-Ghuraini – Libyan

Hamad Abdullah Al-Futtais al-Marri – Qatari

Mohamed Ahmed Shawky Islambouli – Egyptian

Tariq Abdelmagoud Ibrahim al-Zomor – Egyptian

Mohamed Abdelmaksoud Mohamed Afifi – Egyptian

Mohamed el-Saghir Abdel Rahim Mohamed – Egyptian

Wagdy Abdelhamid Ghoneim – Egyptian

Hassan Ahmed Hassan Mohammed Al Dokki Al Houti – UAE

Hakem al-Humaidi al-Mutairi – Saudi / Kuwaiti

Abdullah al-Muhaysini – Saudi

Hamed Abdullah Ahmed al-Ali – Kuwaiti

Ayman Ahmed Abdel Ghani Hassanein – Egyptian

Assem Abdel-Maged Mohamed Madi – Egyptian

Yahya Aqil Salman Aqeel – Egyptian

Mohamed Hamada el-Sayed Ibrahim – Egyptian

Abdel Rahman Mohamed Shokry Abdel Rahman – Egyptian

Hussein Mohamed Reza Ibrahim Youssef – Egyptian

Ahmed Abdelhafif Mahmoud Abdelhady – Egyptian

Muslim Fouad Tafran – Egyptian

Ayman Mahmoud Sadeq Rifat – Egyptian

Mohamed Saad Abdel-Naim Ahmed – Egyptian

Mohamed Saad Abdel Muttalib Abdo Al-Razaki – Egyptian

Ahmed Fouad Ahmed Gad Beltagy – Egyptian

Ahmed Ragab Ragab Soliman – Egyptian

Karim Mohamed Mohamed Abdel Aziz – Egyptian

Ali Zaki Mohammed Ali – Egyptian

Naji Ibrahim Ezzouli – Egyptian

Shehata Fathi Hafez Mohammed Suleiman – Egyptian

Muhammad Muharram Fahmi Abu Zeid – Egyptian

Amr Abdel Nasser Abdelhak Abdel-Barry – Egyptian

Ali Hassan Ibrahim Abdel-Zaher – Egyptian

Murtada Majeed al-Sindi – Bahraini

Ahmed Al-Hassan al-Daski – Bahraini

List of entities:

Qatar Volunteer Center – Qatar

Doha Apple Company (Internet and Technology Support Company) – Qatar

Qatar Charity – Qatar

Sheikh Eid al-Thani Charity Foundation (Eid Charity) – Qatar

Sheikh Thani Bin Abdullah Foundation for Humanitarian Services – Qatar

Saraya Defend Benghazi – Libya

Saraya al-Ashtar – Bahrain

February 14 Coalition – Bahrain

The Resistance Brigades – Bahrain

Hezbollah Bahrain – Bahrain

Saraya al-Mukhtar – Bahrain

Harakat Ahrar Bahrain – Bahrain Movement




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