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    Qatar's Defense Minister Khalid bin Mohammad Al-Attiyah

    Mattis, Qatari Counterpart Discuss Importance of De-Escalating Gulf Tensions

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    US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis discussed with his Qatari counterpart Khalid al-Atiyah the need for Arab states to de-escalate tensions amid a standoff between Doha and Gulf Cooperation Council countries, according to the Pentagon.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis discussed with his Qatari counterpart Khalid al-Atiyah the need for Arab states to de-escalate tensions amid a standoff between Doha and Gulf Cooperation Council countries, the Pentagon said in a readout of a phone call between the two officials.

    "The Secretary also discussed the state of relations among the nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the importance of de-escalating tensions so all partners in the Gulf region can focus on next steps in meeting common goals," the Pentagon said.

    Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar last month and imposed an air, sea and land blockade, accusing the small Gulf emirate of destabilizing the region by sponsoring terrorism, an accusation Doha denied.

    Mattis and Attiyah also discussed mutual security interests, including the war against Daesh terrorist group (banned in Russia), according to the readout.

    "The secretary and the minister affirmed the strategic security partnership and discussed mutual security interests, including the current status of operations against [Daesh]," the Pentagon said. "The secretary emphasized the importance of Qatar's contributions to the D-ISIS coalition, in particular the recent Qatari contribution of C-17 cargo aircraft to the campaign to defeat [Daesh]."

    The two defense chiefs also affirmed their commitment to continued US-Qatar cooperation and deepening their strategic partnership, the Pentagon said.

    Related:

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    Tags:
    talks, de-escalation, Daesh, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Khaled bin Mohammad Al-Attiyah, James Mattis, Qatar, United States
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