State Dept. 'mystified' Gulf states haven't released details on Qatar claims

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Tuesday that the U.S. is "mystified" that Persian Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have not released information to back up claims they have made against Qatar.

Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain cut off all land, sea and air borders with Qatar earlier this month over the nation's alleged ties to extremist groups like al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood as well as its relations with Iran.

"Now that it has been more than two weeks since the embargo started, we are mystified that the Gulf states have not released to the public, nor to the Qataris, the details about the claims that they are making toward Qatar," Nauert told reporters Tuesday.


Nauert asserted that the Gulf countries's silence was a sign that their accusations were unfounded or that they shielded another motive.

"The more the time goes by, the more doubt is raised about the actions taken by Saudi Arabia and the UAE," Nauert said.

"At this point we are left with one simple question: Were the actions really about their concerns regarding Qatar's alleged support for terrorism, or were they about the long-simmering grievances between and among the GCC countries?" she said, referring to the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonHeather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN ambassador job Trump administration’s top European diplomat to resign in February Pompeo planning to meet with Pat Roberts amid 2020 Senate speculation MORE has called on all countries involved to constructively solve the dispute and get back to fighting terrorism, the spokeswoman noted.

"The secretary is determined to remain as engaged, as we continue to monitor this situation," she said. "We are encouraging all sides to deescalate tensions and engage in constructive dialogue. We once again call on all parties to focus on the core regional and international goal of fighting terrorism."

President Trump blasted Qatar earlier this month, saying the country "has unfortunately been a funder of terrorism, and at a very high level." His comments came hours after Tillerson called for other Arab nations to end the blockade against Qatar.