Pompeo Urges Gulf Crisis Resolution 03/20 06:15
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday renewed calls for a
resolution to a festering dispute between Qatar and four other Arab nations,
all of them America's partners in the Middle East.
JERUSALEM (AP) -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday renewed
calls for a resolution to a festering dispute between Qatar and four other Arab
nations, all of them America's partners in the Middle East.
On a visit to Kuwait, which has been attempting to mediate an end to the
crisis, Pompeo said the dispute that has roiled the Gulf Cooperation Council
for almost two years is hindering efforts to combat regional threats posed by
Iran, the Islamic State and other terrorist groups.
"It's not in the best interest of the region, it's not in the best interest
of the world," Pompeo told reporters at a news conference with Kuwait's foreign
minister. "We need the Gulf countries working together on the complex set of
challenges that face each of them."
Pompeo lauded mediation efforts in the dispute by Kuwait's emir and said the
United States would do whatever it could to assist.
"We are working to help those countries find a set of common ground," he
said. "We all have the same set of threats, the threats from al-Qaida and from
ISIS, the threat from the Islamic Republic of Iran. We all are working
diligently to find a path forward so that the rift between those countries can
ISIS is an alternative acronym for the Islamic State group.
Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates began a boycott of
Qatar in June 2017, alleging that Qatar funds extremist groups and has too-cozy
ties to Iran.
Qatar has long denied funding extremists, but Doha shares a massive offshore
natural gas field with Tehran that gives its citizens one of the highest
per-capita incomes in the world. It restored diplomatic relations with Iran
after the crisis erupted, marking a setback for Saudi Arabia, which views the
Shiite power Iran as its main regional rival.
A similar dispute involving Doha erupted in 2014 but this time positions
have hardened against Qatar, whose support for Islamist opposition groups has
angered the Arab nations now boycotting it.
Pompeo was in Kuwait on the first leg of a Mideast tour that will take him
next to Israel and Lebanon.