Underscoring US concerns about a crisis involving key allies in the Middle East, the department said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to visit Kuwait, which is mediating in the dispute, on Monday, Time Magazine reported Friday.
“We remain very concerned about that ongoing situation between Qatar and GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a briefing.
“We’ve become increasingly concerned that that dispute is at an impasse at this point. We believe that this could potentially drag on for weeks. It could drag on for months. It could possibly even intensify,” she said.
In the latest top-level US contact with officials of the countries involved in the dispute, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis discussed the importance of easing tensions in a phone call with Qatari Minister of State for Defense Affairs Khalid al-Attiyah on Thursday.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain broke diplomatic relations with Qatar last month and launched a drive to boycott the gas-producing state, which they accuse of supporting terrorism and allying with regional foe Iran.
Last Modified: 07 07 2017 05:46 PM