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QATAR: Secretary of State urges Gulf states to heal rift

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that a rift between Qatar and its Gulf Arab neighbours had gone on for too long and was threatening regional unity needed to counter Iran. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and non-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member Egypt cut diplomatic, transport and trade ties with Qatar in June 2017, accusing it of supporting terrorism and their regional foe Shi’ite Muslim Iran – something Doha denies.

The United States, an ally of the six-nation Sunni Muslim GCC, sees the rift as a threat to efforts to contain Iran and has pushed for a united Gulf front.

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“When we have a common challenge, disputes between countries with shared objectives are never helpful,” Pompeo, who is on an eight-day tour of the Middle East, told a news conference in the Qatari capital Doha.

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