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In Doha, Pompeo urges Gulf nations to heal rift 

Doha, January 13

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday said a rift between Qatar and its Arab Gulf neighbours had gone on for too long.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, 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 US, an ally of the six-nation Sunni Muslim GCC, sees the rift as a threat to efforts to contain Iran. “When we have a common challenge, disputes between countries with shared objectives are never helpful,” he said at a press conference in the Qatari capital Doha. “They never permit you to have as robust a response to common adversaries or common challenges as you might,” he said. “We’re  hoping that the unity of GCC will increase in the days and weeks and months ahead,” Pompeo said.  

Iran summons Polish diplomat over Summit

Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned a senior Polish diplomat to protest at Poland jointly hosting a summit with the US focused on the Middle East, particularly Iran. A ministry official told Poland’s charge d’affaires in Tehran that Iran saw the decision to host the meeting as a “hostile act against Iran” and warned that Tehran could reciprocate, IRNA reported.

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