Tiller­son in Qatar as leaks spark fresh Gulf ten­sion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

DOHA, Qatar — US Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son ar­rived in Qatar on Tues­day for talks on the Gulf cri­sis as leaks of se­cret agree­ments be­tween re­gional pow­ers trig­gered fresh ten­sions.

He told re­porters in Doha on Tues­day that Qatar had “rea­son­able” views in the month-old diplo­matic row.

“I am hope­ful we can make some progress to be­gin to bring this to a point of res­o­lu­tion,” Tiller­son said along­side his Qatari coun­ter­part Sheikh Mo­hammed bin Ab­dul­rah­man al-Thani.

“I think Qatar has been quite clear in its po­si­tions, and I think those have been very rea­son­able,” he said.

On Mon­day, He held talks Kuwait’s rul­ing emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah.

Sheikh Sabah has been act­ing as a me­di­a­tor be­tween Qatar and four states lined up against it: Saudi Ara­bia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emi­rates and Egypt.

The quar­tet broke off re­la­tions and cut air, sea and land routes to Qatar in last month. They ac­cuse it of sup­port­ing ex­trem­ist groups some­thing Qatar de­nies and med­dling in their af­fairs.

Kuwait, the United States and the United King­dom have called for “a rapid end” to the cri­sis through di­a­logue, the of­fi­cial KUNA news agency re­ported on Tues­day. The call was is­sued at a meet­ing held on Mon­day by Kuwait’s For­eign Min­is­ter Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Ha­mad al-Sabah with Tiller­son and Bri­tain’s Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­vi­sor Mark Sed­will.

They urged all par­ties to “con­tain this cri­sis rapidly, and to find a so­lu­tion through di­a­logue as soon as pos­si­ble”.

The four Arab states sought on Mon­day to pile pres­sure on Qatar, say­ing the pub­li­ca­tion of a pre­vi­ously se­cret ac­cord be­tween Riyadh and Doha showed Qatar broke a prom­ise not to med­dle in the af­fairs of Gulf coun­tries.

The text of the 2013 ac­cord, whose ex­is­tence was known but whose contents have never be­fore been made pub­lic, was first pub­lished by CNN on Mon­day.

In a joint state­ment, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Ara­bia and the UAE said the pub­li­ca­tion of the ac­cord, meant to set­tle a dis­pute be­tween Qatar and its Gulf neigh­bors, “con­firms be­yond any doubt Qatar’s fail­ure to meet its com­mit­ments and its full vi­o­la­tion of its pledges”.

The four said Qatar pledged to de­sist from in­ter­fer­ing in its neigh­bors’ pol­i­tics in the 2013 agree­ment.

Qatar has re­jected the charges and said the four coun­tries are try­ing to im­pose their own views on its for­eign poli­cies.

Doha threat­ened on Mon­day to with­draw from Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil by set­ting con­di­tions for the Saudiled bloc, state news agency MENA re­ported. Thani said his coun­try would give a three-day no­tice to the Gulf coun­tries to lift the “siege” im­posed on Qatar and com­pen­sate it for the po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic losses.

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