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Direct US Involvement to Solve the Gulf Crisis | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is welcomed at the airport by Kuwait Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid Al-Sabah in Kuwait City, Kuwait July 10, 2017. Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)/Handout via REUTERS

Dammam, Ankara- The US has directly got involved on Monday in the Qatari crisis that has commenced one month ago following Arab and Gulf accusations of Doha funding terrorism and adopting a policy that destabilizes the region.

After a tour of European mediation, the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson started on Monday a tour of Gulf discussions in Kuwait in a quest to achieve a progress in the efforts to resolve the crisis. However, two advisers of the minister warned of excessive optimism and rather appeared pessimist given the Qatari intransigence.

R.C. Hammond, a senior adviser to Tillerson, said he would explore ways to end a stalemate following Qatar’s rejection of 13 demands issued as condition for ending sanctions. “The trips to Saudi Arabia and Qatar are about the art of the possible,” said Hammond.

The demands included the closing of a Turkish military base in Qatar and Al Jazeera, which is accused of being a platform for extremists and an agent of interference in Arab states’ affairs – Arab and Gulf states have threatened further sanctions against Doha.

US President Donald Trump has expressed support for Saudi Arabia in the dispute. “We want progress on terrorism financing. The president strongly believes that if you cut off financing, you cut off the ability of terror to take hold in new areas,” Hammond added.

Anwar Gargash, the UAE foreign affairs minister, said: “The finest mediation work will fail without realism, maturity and rationality from Doha.

“Hiding behind the vocabulary of sovereignty and denial prolongs the crisis,” he added.

Gulf observers hope that Tillerson’s visit pushes toward a solution, especially that his tour to the conflict-parties represents a direct involvement of US in the dispute.