June 6, 2017 / 9:35 PM / 2 months ago

Pentagon says Mattis speaks to Qatar's defence minister

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis spoke on Tuesday by phone with his Qatari counterpart following a decision by Arab powers to cut ties to the Gulf ally, a Pentagon spokesman told Reuters, without disclosing the details of their discussion.

The Pentagon earlier on Tuesday renewed praise of Qatar for hosting a vital U.S. air base and for its "enduring commitment to regional security," sticking to a message of reassurance even as President Donald Trump, via Twitter, applauded Arab nations' decision to cut ties.

Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by James Dalgleish

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