US, UK, Kuwait Urge Swift Negotiated Solution to Qatar
2017-07-12 - 3:49 p
Bahrain Mirror - Reuters: Accompanied by Kuwaiti mediators, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson flew to Doha on Tuesday (July 11, 2017) for talks with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, over the crisis. He said he was due to travel to Saudi Arabia for talks with officials from the four Arab countries.
On Monday (July 10, 2017), he and British National Security Advisor Mark Sedwill met with officials from Kuwait in order to patch up the row among the Western-allied countries.
Following those discussions, the United States, Britain and Kuwait urged all parties to resolve their dispute quickly through dialogue, Kuwait state news agency KUNA reported.
Kuwait's ruler, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, expressed "bitterness" on Tuesday over what he described as an unprecedented rift in the Gulf, but said he intended to push ahead with mediation efforts.
Foreign ministers from the four Arab states leading the boycott of Qatar will meet with Tillerson in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah on Wednesday.
Coming from some of the most influential powers in the dispute, the plea for a negotiated solution may be aimed at an earlier refusal by Qatar's adversaries to discuss renewing ties with Doha until it first acquiesced to a list of demands. They include closing the Al Jazeera TV channel, shutting a Turkish military base in Qatar and downgrading ties with Iran.
Qatar hosts Udeid Air Base, the largest U.S. military facility in the Middle East, from which U.S.-led coalition aircraft stage sorties against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed support for Saudi Arabia in the dispute.
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