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    Tillerson urges coalition unity in fight against ISIL

    The fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group is far from over, the US secretary of state has said, urging unity among Arab countries in the Gulf for the sake of regional stability.
    Rex Tillerson says the rift between Qatar and its former allies in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – namely Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, as well as Egypt – is counterproductive to efforts to root out the group.
    The countries imposed a blockade on Qatar last June.
    “The end of major combat operations does not mean we have achieved the enduring defeat of ISIS,” Tillerson said during a meeting on Tuesday in Kuwait City.
    He said US priorities are to prevent ISIS from establishing a so-called caliphate in Iraqand Syria, recruiting new members and being able to train for future attacks.
    “Without continued attention and support from coalition members, we risk the return of extremist groups like ISIS in liberated areas of Iraq and Syria and their spread to new locations,” he said.
    The US also pledged $200m to support stabilisation efforts in Syria, Tillerson announced.
    Ibrahim Fraihat, professor of conflict resolution at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies in Qatar, said Tillerson was “sending a message that the two tracks cannot be disconnected: that the war on terrorism can be affected by instability in the Gulf”.

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