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U.S., Turkey Discuss Qatar Row, Syria on Phone Call: Sources

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) and Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (R)
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) and Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (R)

ANKARA, Reuters, 11 Jun 2017-  U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu discussed developments in Syria and in the row between Qatar and its fellow Arab states on a phone call late on Saturday, Turkish foreign ministry sources said.

The call, held at Tillerson's request, came after Tillerson on Friday urged Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to ease their blockade of Qatar, saying it was causing unintended humanitarian consequences and affecting the U.S.-led fight against Islamic State.

No further details of the call were immediately available.

Referring to Tillerson's comments on the blockade, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech at a Ramadan fast-breaking dinner in Istanbul on Friday: "I say it should be lifted completely".

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt severed relations with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants and their adversary Iran - allegations Qatar says are baseless. Several countries followed suit.

Erdogan vowed to keep supporting Qatar after his rapid approval of legislation on deploying Turkish troops there. On Saturday, he told Bahrain's foreign minister that the dispute should be resolved by the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

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