Doha, July 11 (IANS) US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Qatar on Tuesday to seek a solution to the diplomatic crisis between Doha and the four Arab countries which had cut diplomatic ties with it since June 5.
Tillerson and delegation were welcomed by Secretary-General of the Foreign Ministry Ahmed bin Hassan Al Hammadi, the official Qatari news agency QNA reported.
The US Secretary of State will meet the Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and then travel to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday where he will hold meetings with senior Saudi officials, Efe news reported.
Tillerson’s visit to Doha followed a meeting with Kuwait’s Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, the main mediator in the Gulf crisis, to find a strategy that satisfies Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain on one side and Qatar on the other.
The four-country bloc announced last week that they will not resume diplomatic relations or lift the trade blockade against Qatar which they accuse of supporting terrorism.
The countries justified their stance by stressing that Qatar responded negatively to their demands to resume relations, including the closure of the Qatari television channel Al-Jazeera, the end of diplomatic relations with Iran and the closure of a Turkish military base in the small Persian Gulf country.
Tillerson has had frequent contact with the countries involved in the dispute in June and had unsuccessfully asked Saudi Arabia and its allies to soften the blockade imposed on Qatar by warning that it hampers operations against the Islamic State terror organisation.