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US commander visits allies

US Central Command (Centcom) commander General Joseph Votel has done the rounds of Gulf allies, having expressed strong misgivings about the dispute between Qatar and the GCC-3 of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain. Votel held talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi in Baghdad on 20 July, with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani on 23 July, with Saudi Crown Prince and defence minister Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdelaziz in Riyadh on 25 July, and with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan in Abu Dhabi on 26 July, joined by high-profile UAE ambassador to Washington Yousef Al-Otaiba.

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