Toronto - US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson waded through another day of meetings involving the Qatar crisis on Wednesday, urging the Gulf blockade countries, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to “exercise restraint.”
Toronto – US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson waded through another day of meetings involving the Qatar crisis on Wednesday, urging the Gulf blockade countries, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to “exercise restraint.”
Qatar is steadfastly vowing that it will not issue a response to the list of demands it was served with last Thursday until evidence is presented to prove the allegations made against the country are credible. Meanwhile, the blockade countries have declared that their demands are non-negotiable, making it appear that the stalemate will continue indefinitely.
Heading into Tuesday evening’s meeting with Kuwait’s minister of state for cabinet affairs, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Sabah, Tillerson said, “We hope all the parties will continue to talk to one another in good faith.”
After initially taking credit for the blockade, following a successful visit by US President Donald Trump to the region in May, the Trump administration has found itself in the unenviable position of being caught between two important regional allies, thanks to its inconsistent position throughout the crisis.
After the two officials met, State Department spokesperson, Heather Nauert, released a statement saying the Kuwaiti representative “reaffirmed the need for all parties to exercise restraint to allow for productive diplomatic discussions. The secretary urged the parties to remain open to negotiation as the best way to resolve the dispute.”
Saudi foreign minister, Adel al Jubeir, had already told reporters there is no wiggle room on their list of demands and that their expectation is for Qatar to comply completely.
Included in the demands were the complete shutdown of state-funded network, Al Jazeera, a significant scaling down of Qatar’s relationship with Iran and the closure of a Turkish military base in the country.
The list of demands came weeks after six Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia, announced they were severing all diplomatic ties with Qatar, alleging financial support for terrorist organizations and a relationship to Iran which they found too close for their comfort. The blockade followed this announcement almost immediately. The allegations have since been proven to be unfounded, prompting many to believe the reasons for the blockade to be more closely related to an intense dislike for Qatar’s foreign policy.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Adel al Jubeir, announced “We stay where we are. We’ve made our point, we’ve taken our positions. If Qatar wants to come back into the [Gulf Cooperation Council] pool, they know what they have to do.”
“If they don’t, they will remain isolated. We don’t have to deal with them… We don’t have to deal with a country that has done harm to us, unless they change their behavior,” he added.
Qatar has also indicated that it intends to hire a Swiss law firm to sue the blockade countries. According to Ali Bin Smaikh al-Marri, chairman of Qatar’s National Human Rights Commission, said during a press conference “The three countries are responsible to compensate those affected.”
“Some cases will be filed in courts in those three countries and in some courts that have international jurisdictions, like in Europe, related to compensation.”
There is no word on which law firm will be chosen for the sensitive case. He did, however, hint that a clarifying statement would be released soon.