US 'satisfied' with Qatar's move to increase counterterrorism effort, secretary of state says

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday there has been "positive movement" in resolving a diplomatic rift between Qatar and several of its Arab neighbors since he returned from the region last week.

Tillerson said Doha has made inroads in implementing an agreement with the U.S. to combat terrorist financing and with other counterterrorism concerns.

"We’re satisfied with the effort they’re putting forth," he said during remarks at the State Department's with his Omani counterpart.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar last month and imposed a land, sea and air blockade while accusing Doha of supporting terrorism.

The four states presented a list of demands to Qatar to end the blockade, including the closure of the Al Jazeera television network and Turkish base in Doha. The group threatened additional sanctions if the demands were not met.

Doha denies the accusation of terrorism and contends the blockade is a violation of international law.

Citing Qatar's "willingness" to negotiate a resolution, Tillerson said he hopes the four Saudi Arabia-led states "will consider as a sign of good faith lifting this land blockade, which is really having the most, I think, negative effects on the Qatari people.

"I’m hopeful they’ll consider that seriously," he said. "I hope they will begin to take some positive action."

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