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Mattis and Tillerson are trying to sooth a crisis in the Persian Gulf, but Trump keeps picking on a US ally

In early June, several Arab countries, led by Saudi Arabia, cut diplomatic ties with neighboring Qatar over its alleged funding of terrorist groups and intention of "destabilizing the region." The split has inflamed the region at a time when US officials thought the states involved had united in a common front against Iranian influence. While US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis have scrambled to sooth the crisis and bring all sides back together, the split has been exacerbated by their boss, President Donald Trump, who has on two occasions condemned and mocked Qatar, a longtime US partner.
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