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Tillerson meets Saudi King, FM in bid to resolve Gulf crisis

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia July 12, 2017. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Jeddah [Saudi Arabia]: in a bid to resolve the Gulf diplomatic crisis, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held talks with Foreign Ministers from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, after meeting first with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The meeting, which took place on Wednesday, came a day after the United States and Qatar signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on combating financing terrorism collectively.

“We have signed a memorandum of understanding on combating financing terrorism,” said Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani during a press conference on Tuesday.

He added that this comes in the context of bilateral cooperation between the U.S. and Qatar, and as a result of the joint efforts to develop mechanisms to combat financing terrorism and exchange information and expertise to develop this mechanism and to develop the institutions between different countries.

Tillerson, who visited Qatar in a bid to end a month-long rift between the Gulf countries of the region, said the memorandum lays out a series of steps the two countries will take over the coming months and years to interrupt and disable terror financing flows and intensify counterterrorism activities globally.

“The agreement includes milestones to ensure both countries are accountable to their commitments,” he said.

“Together, the United States and Qatar will do more to track down funding sources, will do more to collaborate and share information, and will do more to keep the region and our homeland safe,” he added.

The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt issued a joint statement hailing the efforts of US in fighting terrorism.

Last month, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt had snapped its diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of financing extremist groups.

However, Qatar rejected these allegations and termed the actions by Gulf member countries of isolating it diplomatically as “unjustified”. (ANI)