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Tillerson: Quartet is Not Ready for Dialogue with Qatar

Tillerson: Quartet is Not Ready for Dialogue with Qatar

Monday, 23 October, 2017 - 05:30
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson departs with Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani after a press conference in Doha. (Reuters)

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson acknowledged on Sunday that the four boycotting countries and Qatar have a major gap to bridge in resolving the diplomatic and economic crisis between them.

He said that Saudi Arabia “is not yet ready to kick off direct discussions with Doha to end the nearly five-month diplomatic and trade boycott.”

Tillerson made his remarks from Doha during a joint press conference with his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.

Commenting on talks he had held with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh, he remarked: “There are no strong indications that the sides involved are prepared for dialogue.”

The US official said that Washington supports dialogue as a means to end the Doha crisis.

Tillerson added however that the US will not impose any solution on any side involved in the dispute.

“The US is prepared to facilitate dialogue, including helping set a roadmap for it,” he revealed, while pledging to continue to offer “any help” to end the crisis.

For his part, the Qatari FM said: “Doha is still committed to dialogue with the four boycotting countries.”

He also warned against postponing an upcoming Gulf Cooperation Council summit as a result of the dispute, revealing that Doha has not yet received an invitation to attend the meeting.

Furthermore, he said that the Emir of Qatar agrees with US President Donald Trump that the Gulf crisis has taken too long to be resolved, noting that it has affected the security of all GCC countries.

Tillerson had kicked off over the weekend a six-nation tour that saw him first land in Saudi Arabia where he held talks with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and other senior officials.

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