WASHINGTON, United States (Kurdistan24) – The United States' Secretary of State will visit the Middle East to explore ways of ending a diplomatic dispute between Gulf-Arab nations, the State Department said on Monday.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia from Monday until Thursday, according to State Department officials.
Tillerson will meet with Arab leaders “to test new ways of resolving the impasse that has persisted” in the region, the Associated Press reported.
State Department officials reaffirmed the Secretary of State “did not expect to produce a breakthrough,” but would “explore possibilities for bringing all sides to the negotiating table.”
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and other nations cut political ties with Qatar early last month, accusing the country of supporting terrorism.
Qatar denied the assertions made against it, labeling the decision from its neighboring countries to sever ties as “unjustified.”
“We’ve had one round of exchanges and dialogues and didn’t advance the ball,” Tillerson’s senior advisor R.C. Hammond said.
He was referring to Doha’s rejection of a list of demands outlined by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, and Egypt to restore diplomatic ties.
“They are done, they are not worth revisiting as a package, but individually there are things in there that could work,” the senior advisor said of the list.
“We will work with Kuwait and see if we can hash out a different strategy,” Hammond added.
Tillerson’s advisor highlighted the importance of restoring ties between the US’ key allies in the Middle East, especially regarding the continued battle against terrorism.
European leaders voiced their concern at the G-20 summit about the impact the Gulf crisis could have on the spread of terrorism in the region and abroad, according to Hammond.
Editing by G. H. Renaud