Published: Fri, June 30, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

Gulf confrontation worsens as deadline looms for Saudi ultimatum to Qatar

Gulf confrontation worsens as deadline looms for Saudi ultimatum to Qatar

The U.S., which urges a diplomatic solution to the crisis, has been pushing for a list of grievances that are "reasonable and actionable".

In parallel, diplomatic sources revealed that the USA was joining efforts to set up a mechanism to supervise and monitor financial transfers from Doha and to hand over to the Qatari government all the information and data on groups or persons who are accused of terrorism.

Tillerson on Tuesday met with the Qatari foreign minister, declining to answer reporters' shouted questions about stalled talks beforehand.

Curiously, as CNBC notes, the State Department did not post its own statement on the Tillerson meeting with al-Thani as it generally does with such high-level meetings over major world events.

After meeting with Tillerson, Qatari Foreign Minister al-Thani spoke from Washington and blasted Saudi Arabia for failing to negotiate.

The Saudi-led coalition has laid down a list of 13 demands for Qatar, included the closure of Al Jazeera TV network, a downgrade of diplomatic ties with Iran and the shutdown of a Turkish military base in the emirate.

But Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, also in Washington, refused to budge over the three-week-old squabble, which has left Qatar, a USA ally, isolated under a trade and diplomatic embargo set by its Gulf Arab neighbors.

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His Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir, who is also in Washington, was unbudging on Tuesday over the three-week-old dispute, which has left Qatar, a United States ally, isolated under a trade and diplomatic embargo set by its Gulf Arab neighbors.

If Qatar chooses to comply with even some of Riyadh's demands, the gamble will have paid off; Saudi Arabia could finish the crisis confident that Qatar will fall into line against Iran as most of the region does.

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Adel al Jubeir, announced "We stay where we are". The GCC - and before it was founded, the individual member states - the Arab monarchies of Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi-Arabia and the UAE - have never been a unified, harmonious block.

Agree to all demands in ten days or the list becomes invalid.

The Saudi-led bloc's order was part of wider moves against Qatar, including the suspension of political, economic and diplomatic ties with Doha over accusations it is supporting "terrorism".

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut ties to Qatar this month and restricted its access to land, sea and air routes before issuing a steep list of demands. It is being told that these demands have been supplied to Qatar through Kuwait.

Mr Al Jubeir, who is now visiting Washington, confirmed that his country will not ease the trade embargo imposed on Qatar until all demands are met. Commenting on the list of demands, Tillerson on Sunday said some of the demands "will be very hard for Qatar to meet".

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