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Arab Countries Vow New Measures Against Qatar

Four Arab countries leading a boycott against Qatar have vowed unspecified new measures over the small Gulf nation's alleged ties to international terrorism.

In a statement on July 7, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain accused Doha of continuing a "policy aimed at destabilizing security in the region."

They vowed to "take all necessary political, economic, and legal measures" against Qatar in a "timely manner." They did not specify what those steps could include.

The U.S. State Department said July 7 that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to the region to try to mediate a solution to the conflict.

The four countries last month broke diplomatic and travel ties with Qatar over the emirate's alleged support for Islamist extremists and its ties to regional rival Iran.

The countries set a list of 13 demands and threatened further sanctions against Qatar if it did not act.

Among the demands were calls to end financial support for terrorism, shutter the Al-Jazeera network, cut most ties with Iran, and close Turkey's air base.

The Qataris, who have denied the allegations, accused the four countries of "clear aggression," saying the accusations "were clearly designed to create anti-Qatar sentiment in the West."

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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