Trump committed to working to de-escalate Gulf tensions

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. (Reuters)
Updated 06 June 2017
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Trump committed to working to de-escalate Gulf tensions

WASHINGTON: The White House said US President Donald Trump is committed to working to de-escalate tensions in the Guf.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters in Sydney that the decision would not affect the fight against terrorists and that Washington had urged its Gulf allies to resolve their differences.
Meanwhile, Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, who is also an adviser to King Salman, met with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah late on Monday during a short visit.
Kuwait’s official news agency said that Prince Khaled delivered a letter from King Salman to the Kuwaiti emir that discussed bilateral ties between the two Gulf countries and the latest regional developments.
Kuwait’s emir urged his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to exercise restraint and refrain from steps that would escalate the situation, according to the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).
Sheikh Sabah in a phone call with the Qatari emir hoped Sheikh Tamim would give a chance to efforts aimed at “containing tension in brotherly relations among brothers.”
Kuwait appears to be trying to play a neutral and potentially mediating role between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain. Qatar’s ruler had visited Kuwait’s ruler last week.
Kuwait and Oman have not severed ties with Qatar and have not issued statements about the political standoff.
An Omani Foreign Ministry official arrived in Qatar Monday night. The ministry on Twitter described the visit as planned before the crisis.
In another development, a Somali civil aviation official said at least 15 Qatar Airways flights used Somalia’s airspace since Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations moved to sever links with the Gulf nation.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters, said that before the Gulf diplomatic crisis erupted, just one or two Qatar Airways planes flew over Somalia each day.
Separately, Iran’s foreign minister spoke with his Qatari counterpart after Monday’s developments.


OPCW says experts have taken samples in Syria's Douma

Updated 21 April 2018
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OPCW says experts have taken samples in Syria's Douma

LA HAGUE: Inspectors from the global chemical arms watchdog Saturday took samples in the Syrian town of Douma after an alleged poison gas attack, the body said.
A fact-finding mission from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) visited Douma “today to collect samples for analysis in connection with allegations of chemical weapons use on 7 April 2018. The OPCW will evaluate the situation and consider future steps including another possible visit to Douma,” the organization said in a statement.

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