Tillerson Meets With Qatari, Kuwaiti Envoys on Gulf Crisis

A gas flame is seen in the desert near the Khurais oilfield near Riyadh Saudi Arabia

They demanded Doha to return the funds, $16 billion, which were placed by state companies of these countries as term deposits in Qatari banks.

Commenting on the meeting between Tillerson and the Kuwaiti minister, US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement that the two leaders "reaffirmed the need for all parties to exercise restraint to allow for productive diplomatic discussions".

"It is about limiting Qatar's sovereignty, and outsourcing our foreign policy", Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed Al Thani, Qatari communications director said Friday according to Al-Jazeera.

They required Qatar to cut diplomatic relations with Iran, close the Turkish military base, eliminate Al-Jazeera TV channel, extradite all persons wanted in four countries on charges of terrorism and pay compensation.

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This unusual relationship has always intimidated Saudi Arabia - Qatar's largest Arab neighbor and Iran's main rival in the region - since it sees in such ties a serious threat to its national security and a vulnerability that Iran could exploit to divide the unity of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates all cut diplomatic, economic and transport ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing Doha of supporting extremist groups, leaving the small country under pressure to ensure it has enough food and supplies. "But if they don't, they will remain isolated", al-Jubeir said.

On Wednesday, Abdulrahman Al-Rashed, the former general manager of Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV, warned Qatar that it may face a similar treatment to the Egyptian protesters who stood against then-general Abdel Fattah al-Sisi: violent annihilation. Kuwait has been acting as an intermediary between Qatar and its accusers.

The Foreign Minister met US Secretary of State Rex Tillersoni in Washington, yesterday. And he wouldn't say if there were talks to move the enormous USA air base in Qatar to the UAE or Saudi Arabia, saying that was an American decision.

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Al Jubeir denied that the timing of the crisis was tied to President Trump, after speculation that the Saudis and their allies felt emboldened to take action after the president's visit to the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia and its allies are waging a brutal war in Yemen against Houthi rebels allegedly backed by Iran, and are supporting the USA war in Syria aimed at ousting the Iranian- and Russian-backed government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Agree to all demands in ten days or the list becomes invalid.

"We have presented a list of demands to Qatar, made our point, explained our position and taken our decision".

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Sheikh Mohammed said in the statement that since it was impossible for Doha to stop doing things it had never been doing, "we are left to conclude that the goal of the ultimatum was not to address the issues listed, but to pressure Qatar to surrender its sovereignty".

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