Toronto - The third leg of US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson’s trip to the Gulf region brought him to Saudi Arabia Wednesday to meet with King Salman over the Qatar crisis and possible paths to a solution.
Toronto – The third leg of US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson’s trip to the Gulf region brought him to Saudi Arabia Wednesday to meet with King Salman over the Qatar crisis and possible paths to a solution.
The Saudi visit directly follows a trip to Qatar Tuesday where Tillerson and the Qatari foreign minister announced the signing of a new deal to combat terrorist funding.
The deal, however, left the four blockade countries less than impressed, calling it “insufficient.”
Following his meeting with King Salman, Tillerson met with the foreign ministers from the four blockade countries.
Despite the Secretary of State’s statement that “Qatar has been quite clear in its positions, and I think those have been very reasonable,” made Tuesday, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have vowed the blockade will continue. “Qatar “cannot be trusted,”” they said Wednesday.
The deal between Qatar and the US is, in the opinion of the bloc, “the result of pressure and repeated calls over the past years by the four states ad their partners upon Qatar to stop supporting terrorism.”
Negotiations to end the crisis stalled badly last Wednesday when Qatar presented mediator, Kuwait, with their official rejection of the bloc’s demands. Included in the list of thirteen requirements to end the blockade were the immediate closure of state-funded network, Al Jazeera, the dismantling of a Turkish military bas on Qatar soil, the cessation of alleged terrorist funding and a cooling of relations with regional pariah, Iran.
Calling the demands unworkable, Qatar accused the bloc of deliberately creating a list impossible to comply with. Qatar has maintained its innocence from the onset of the crisis, which began in early June when the four bloc countries announced they were cutting all diplomatic ties with Qatar, citing its financial support of terrorist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda and ISIS.
This was swiftly followed by a trade embargo and the closure of land and sea routes, effectively landlocking the tiny country and forcing them to source out supplies from Turkey and Iran.