US urges Qatar, neighbors to ease tension

US urges Qatar, neighbors to ease tension
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Updated 26 June 2017

US urges Qatar, neighbors to ease tension

US urges Qatar, neighbors to ease tension

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday that Qatar and the four Arab states that imposed a boycott on their neighbor — Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt — should sit down together in order to try to reach a resolution.
Tillerson attempted to soothe fraying tempers in a statement, following days of telephone diplomacy with Doha and the countries concerned.
Tillerson said that the list of demands given to Doha includes major areas that “provide a basis for ongoing dialogue leading to a resolution.”
Tillerson also called for a “lowering of rhetoric” to “help ease the tension.” He said the US is supporting Kuwait’s efforts to mediate.
“We believe our allies and partners are stronger when they are working together toward one goal which we all agree is stopping terrorism and countering extremism,” he said. “A lowering of rhetoric would also help ease the tension.” He added that the US will remain in close contact with all the countries involved.
Bahrain’s foreign minister said that outside interference would not solve the problem. “It is in the interest of these powers to respect the existing regional order which is capable of solving any issue that may arise,” Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa said in a message on Twitter, without naming Turkey.
Qatar insists that the moves against it have more to do with long-standing differences than with the fight against extremism.
In another development, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his country wants to bolster ties with Qatar and rejected the blockade of the Gulf country. “Iran’s policy is to develop more and more its relations with Doha,” Rouhani said in a phone conversation with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, according to the presidency website.