Gulf diplomatic crisis: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ends Qatar rift talks with Saudi officials

Riyadh: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson left Saudi Arabia on Wednesday after talks with foreign ministers of the four anti-Qatar countries on the month-long dispute among Gulf states, with no announcement released so far.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. AP

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. AP

He met the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain — the four countries boycotting Qatar — in Jeddah to discuss the escalating issues, Xinhua reported.

The meetings came after Tillerson visited Kuwait and Qatar, during which he signed an agreement with the Qatari government aiming at combating the financing of terrorism.

The four countries responded to the US-Qatari agreement by releasing a joint statement on Tuesday stating: "We believe that the Memorandum of Understanding between the US and the Qatari authorities is a result of repeated pressures and demands over the past years to Qatar to stop supporting terrorism."

"But that such a step is not sufficient and we will closely monitor the seriousness of Qatar in combating all forms of funding, supporting and fostering terrorism," the statement said.

His trip from Kuwait to the western Saudi city of Jiddah follows talks the previous day with the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. He has also held discussions with the ruler of Kuwait, who is mediating the dispute.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain severed relations with Qatar and cut air, sea and land routes with it more than a month ago, accusing it of supporting extremist groups. Qatar denies the allegation.

Tillerson met with Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir on arrival in the Red Sea city. He is expected to meet with officials from the rest of the quartet later in the day before returning to Kuwait.


Published Date: Jul 13, 2017 11:14 am | Updated Date: Jul 13, 2017 11:14 am

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