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U.S. Rebukes Saudi Arabia Over Qatar Embargo

June 21, 2017 (EIRNS)—The U.S. State Department has issued a "stinging rebuke" to Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies, according to the London Guardian’s Julian Borger yesterday, saying that the Saudis had "failed to come up with a justification for the embargo they imposed on Qatar earlier this month." The New York Times and others also cover the story.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told press yesterday, "Now that it has been more than two weeks since the embargo started, we are mystified that the Gulf States have not released to the Qataris, nor to the public, the details about the claims they are making toward Qatar. The more that time goes by, the more doubt is raised about the actions taken by Saudi Arabia and the UAE... At this point, we are left with one simple question: were the actions really about their concerns regarding Qatar’s alleged support of terrorism? Or were they about the long-simmering grievances between and among the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] countries?"

The State Department spokeswoman denied that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was taking a position that entirely contradicted the initial position taken by President Trump, saying,

"I don’t think so at all. I think the President and the Secretary both want to see this resolved. They want results, and let’s see this resolved quickly,"

Nauert said.

"The President had offered Secretary Tillerson weeks ago to do that. At this point, we don’t think that is necessary... We believe...they’ll be able to work it out on their own."

Secretary of State Tillerson, the New York Times reported, has had more than 20 phone calls and meetings with leaders from the Gulf and elsewhere, and, the State Department spokeswoman added, that included two in-person meetings with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, who promised June 16 to "soon" release a list of grievances" involving Qatar.