Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Qatar had been reasonable in its approach to the Gulf crisis and that he’s “hopeful” progress can be made to end an impasse that pits long-standing U.S. allies against one another.
“I think Qatar has been quite clear in its positions, and I think very reasonable, and we want to talk now how do we take things forward,” Tillerson told reporters Tuesday in Doha after meeting Qatari officials. “That’s my purpose in coming.” He met with Kuwait’s emir on Monday.
America’s top diplomat is visiting Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia this week in a bid to end a standoff that started last month after a Saudi-led alliance severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar. The grouping accuses the Gulf nation of destabilizing the region by supporting proxies of Shiite-dominant Iran and Sunni extremists, charges the emirate denies.
The Saudi-led alliance said Monday that previous agreements struck with Qatar — details of which were first reported by CNN — had barred signatories from supporting groups hostile to any of the Gulf governments. The bloc maintains that Qatar violated these accords, which it said formed the basis of the 13-point list of demands that Doha rejected as a prerequisite to ending the current standoff.