Lower rhetoric to help ease tension in Gulf: US
June 25 2017 07:22 PM
Rex Tillerson
"A productive next step would be for each of the countries to sit together and continue this conversation," Tillerson said

Agencies/Washington

*Tillerson calls for lowering of rhetoric to help ease tension
*Qatar has begun review and consideration of requests
* All agree to goal of stopping terrorism, countering extremism
*US to support mediation efforts of Emir of Kuwait



US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has called for a lowering of rhetoric to ease the tension in the Gulf region following the blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia and its allies on Qatar.
In a statement issued in Washington, Tillerson said some of the demands presented by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE will be very difficult for Qatar to meet, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, calling on the sides to focus on areas which provide a basis for dialogue.
"Qatar has begun its careful review and consideration of a series of requests presented by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE," Tillerson said in a statement issued in Washington.
"A productive next step would be for each of the countries to sit together and continue this conversation," Tillerson said .
"While some of the elements will be very difficult for Qatar to meet, there are significant areas which provide a basis for ongoing dialogue leading to resolution," the statement said.
"We believe our allies and partners are stronger when they are working together towards one goal which we all agree is stopping terrorism and countering extremism.
"Each country involved has something to contribute to that effort. A lowering of rhetoric would also help ease the tension. The United States will continue to stay in close contact with all parties and will continue to support the mediation efforts of the Emir of Kuwait," the statement added.
Qatar faces the prospect of diplomatic isolation in the long-term if it does not accept the demands made by its Gulf neighbours to end the ongoing dispute, a United Arab Emirates (UAE) minister warned on Saturday.
The list of 13 demands submitted by Saudi Arabia and its allies include downgrading ties with Iran, stopping support for Islamist groups, closing a Turkish military base in Qatar and shutting down the Doha-based television broadcaster Al Jazeera and its channels.
The four countries have given Qatar 10 days to accept the demands. Kuwait handed the list of collective demands to Doha on Thursday, according to Qatar News Agency.
On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic ties and transportation links with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism, a charge that Doha denied.
The demands of the blockading countries confirm what Qatar has been saying from the beginning – they have nothing to do with combating terrorism, but it is about limiting Qatar’s sovereignty, and outsourcing its foreign policy, the Director of the Government Communication Office (GCO) Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed al-Thani has said.
Responding to the demands, Meshal Hamad al-Thani, Qatar’s ambassador to the United States, tweeted that the list was meant to “punish Qatar for its independence”.
Qatar has maintained the list of demands as unreasonable, unrealistic and an impingement on the country’s sovereignty.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt want Doha to comply with the demands in return for an end to the three-week-old diplomatic and trade blockade of Qatar.

Last updated: June 25 2017 11:31 PM


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