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UN Chief Ready To Help In Qatar, Gulf States Spat

UN Secretary-General António Guterres

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is ready to support any diplomatic efforts to resolve tensions between Qatar and other Gulf Arab states "if desired by all parties," his spokesman said on June 8.

"The secretary-general is following the situation in the Middle East with deep concern," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. "He urges countries in the region to avoid escalating tensions and work instead to overcome their differences."

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and several other countries severed diplomatic and transport ties with Doha on June 5, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants and Iran -- charges Qatar says are baseless.

The White House said on June 8 that U.S. President Donald Trump is continuing to talk with all partners in the Middle East to deescalate tensions amid the ongoing diplomatic crisis between Qatar and the group of Arab states.

Egypt, one of the states involved in the dispute with Qatar, on June 8 called for the UN Security Council to launch an investigation into accusations that Qatar paid a ransom of up to $1 billion to a "terrorist group active in Iraq" to release kidnapped members of its royal family.

Meanwhile, pan-Arab satellite network Al-Jazeera said on June 8 that it had come under a large-scale cyberattack. Al-Jazeera is the flagship broadcaster for Qatar.

"Al-Jazeera Media Network under cyberattack on all systems, websites & social media platforms," it said on Twitter. The report could not be immediately verified.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP