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Pentagon to Persian Gulf rivals: Calm down

Staff Writer | July 7, 2017
The U.S. military said it was pressing Persian Gulf countries to resolve lingering issues with Qatar, an issue that presents risks to the energy sector.
Qatar army
Tensions   Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producer
Saudi Arabia in June led a coalition of Middle East countries in severing ties with Qatar, adding a layer of geopolitical risk to the global energy market.

Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Qatar is a leading natural gas supplier and the Persian Gulf is a choke point for the flow of energy supplies from the region.

The countries accused Qatar of supporting terrorist networks and called on the nation to downgrade its relations with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and close its al-Jazeera media outlet, among other things.

In a statement published Friday by the official Saudi Press Agency, Riyadh and its allies in Abu Dhabi, Cairo, and Manama, the capital of Bahrain, expressed "deep surprise" that Qatar rejected a list of demands aimed at resolving the dispute.

"The measures taken by the four countries are directed at the Qatari government to correct its course, which seeks to break up the Gulf Cooperation Council system and Arab and international security, destabilize the countries of the region and interfere in their affairs," the statement read.