Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State of the USA had a meeting with the Saudi Arabia King and other representatives from the rest of the countries that have placed themselves against Qatar. Topic of this meeting was feud between Qatar and anti-Qatar bloc, and finding ways for solving it.
Before visiting Kuwait and Jeddah, Tillerson had a meet up with the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and also discussed the problem with the mediator of this dispute, ruler of Kuwait.
Egypt, Bahrain, UAE and Saudi Arabia cut all relations with Qatar based on allegations of supporting extremist groups. Qatar denies all of the accusations.
After meeting with King Salman of the Saudi Arabia he met up with foreign ministers of all four countries opposed to Qatar. It is expected from him to find a solution and end this feud by pressing the quartet to reconsider easing up the demands after Qatar made deal the USA to enhance its fight against terrorism and focus on shortage in policing terrorism funding.
A 13-point list was issued last moth by the four countries. Some of the demands were shutting down Al-Jazeera network and some other news channels, ending all relationships with Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups, remove Turkish troops from their country and limit ties with Iran.
By stating that accepting this demands will be pure sabotage to its sovereignty, Qatar rejected all of them.
Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed Al Thani, Qatar’s head of communication office said four states are executing “a smear campaign in the international media to damage Qatar’s reputation” adding they are “not interested in engaging in honest negotiations to resolve our differences.”
Although the four states are not really pleased with the deal between Qatar and U.S. they said that the deal was product of constant pressure by them. On the other side, the are grateful to U.S. for engaging but still specifically insist on Qatar to accept their list of “fair and legitimate demands.”
In their joint statement it stands: “The quartet affirms that the measures they have taken were motivated by the continuous and diversified activities of the Qatari authorities in supporting, funding and harboring terrorism and terrorists, as well as promoting hateful and extremist rhetoric and interfering in the internal affairs of states.”
Deal that has been made basically did almost nothing to help fulfilling four countries demands or resolving this dispute and only helped the cooperation between U.S. and Qatar.
The problem with the quartet’s demands is that they want Qatar to stop supporting groups that are labeled terrorist by the four countries. Western allies do not see Muslim brothers and similar group as terrorist and think this is overreached definition.
Tillerson quickly got criticized by Saudi analysts. “What makes Wednesday’s meeting in Jiddah difficult is that Tillerson has, since the beginning of the crisis, appeared to be taking the Qatari side,” was written in a column of one newspapers by Abdulrahman al-Rashed, the general manager of the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya satellite news channel.
By adding that the goal is to switch Qatar’s “agenda” al-Rashed wrote “He (Tillerson) has to realize that he will be further complicating an already complex matter and prolonging the crisis.”
However editor-in-chief of the Saudi daily Arab News, Faisal Abbas categorized the deal as quartet’s gain but said that”it is not time to party just yet.”
United States is not in grateful position and has the risk of perplexing their operations in that region. Some of them are air base in Qatar that is probably most important military installation for the U.S. in the Middle East, U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet is stated in the Bahrain, and big number of American aircrafts fly from th United Arab Emirates.