US Secretary of State Tillerson blasts Saudi-led bloc for non-resolution of GCC crisis

US Secretary of State Tillerson blasts Saudi-led bloc for non-resolution of GCC crisis

QLReporter
By QLReporter

Ever since the start of the illegal siege of Qatar, the country has taken the moral high road and said that they were open to discussions and negotiations, provided it does not affect their sovereignty in any way.

However, the unfair stance by the Saudi-led bloc had prevented any sort of settlement being reached. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has been a vocal proponent of peace between the countries, has finally spoken out against the stance by the blockading countries, reported Al Jazeera.

The top official said that he had little hope about the months-long Gulf diplomatic crisis being resolved soon and blamed the Saudi-led group of countries for lack of progress.

Tillerson made the comments on Thursday, a day before he embarked on a trip to the region in a renewed attempt to mediate the dispute.

“I don’t have a lot of expectations for it being resolved anytime soon. There seems to be a real unwillingness on the part of some of the parties to want to engage,” he said in an interview with financial news agency Bloomberg.

“It’s up to the leadership of the quartet when they want to engage with Qatar because Qatar has been very clear — they’re ready to engage,” he said in the interview.

Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp., last visited the region in July. At the time, the top US diplomat said he was hopeful that he could help resolve the dispute, which has been officially mediated by Kuwait. Tillerson’s latest remarks suggested that attitude has now changed, reported Gulf Times.

However, he declined to say which country bears the most responsibility for the lack of progress.

Tillerson emphasised that the main responsibility for a way out of the crisis now rests with the countries at the centre of it.

“Our role is to try to ensure lines of communication are as open as we can help them be, that messages not be misunderstood. We’re ready to play any role we can to bring them together but at this point it really is now up to the leadership of those countries,” Tillerson said.

Al Jazeera’s Heidi Zhou-Castro, reporting from Washington, DC, said Tillerson’s comments marked ‘a distinct change of tone.’

“Gone was that sense of optimism we heard back in July when he made his last visit to the region. Instead, after these months of relative inaction and little progress to show, Tillerson expressed his frustration,” said Zhou-Castro.

In Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh, Tillerson will take part in the inaugural Coordination Council meeting between the governments of Saudi Arabia and Iraq, the State Department said in a statement.

“The Secretary will also meet with various Saudi leaders to discuss the conflict in Yemen, the ongoing Gulf dispute, Iran, and a number of other important regional and bilateral issues,” it added.

Tillerson will then head to Qatar's capital, Doha, where he will hold talks with Qatari leaders and US military officials on a range of issues, including the Gulf dispute and joint counterterrorism efforts.

Earlier, Qatar’s Emir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani had reiterated the position that he was open to dialogue to resolve the dispute which he termed an ‘unjust siege.

By shahul_QU• 20 Oct 2017 17:09
shahul_QU

Better you tell your president. These countries are waiting for his words.

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