US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has called on Saudi Arabia and Qatar to stay united and solve their differences, after Riyadh severed ties with Doha and asked its Persian Gulf allies to follow suit.
According to Press TV, Tillerson said in Sydney on Monday, shortly after Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt also cut ties with the gas-rich Persian Gulf peninsula “We certainly would encourage the parties to sit down together and address these differences.”
The top US diplomat said it was “important” for Washington that the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council countries “remain united.”
The Riyadh regime said earlier on Monday that it was also closing down all borders with Qatar to “protect its national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism,” according to the official Saudi Press Agency.
Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE echoed the same reasons as to why they had followed Riyadh’s lead.
The fallout led to Qatar’s expulsion from a Saudi-led coalition, which has been conducting a military aggression against Yemen since March 2015.
Qatar, home to the forward headquarters of the US military’s Central Command and some 10,000 American troops, had assigned some of its US-provided fighter jets to the unprovoked war, which has martyred over 12,000 Yemeni people while plunging the impoverished country into a humanitarian crisis.
Washington has been actively supporting the Saudi-led war, supplying weapons and intelligence to the aggressors under the guise of fighting terror.
Tillerson said Monday that the Saudi-Qatar impasse was not going to leave “any significant impact, if any impact at all, on 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, and have expressed that most recently in the summit in Riyadh,” he added, referring to US President Donald Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia.
The visit, which was part of Trump’s maiden foreign trip, saw the new American head of state strike a $110 billion arms deal with the kingdom and – rather ironically—open a center in Riyadh to fight extremism.
Saudi Arabia has long been accused of supporting extremist groups across the Middle East.