Kuwait, US, Britain urge quick solution to Gulf crisis

Kuwait, US, Britain urge quick solution to Gulf crisis
2 min read
11 July, 2017
Kuwait, the United States and Britain have urged all parties to the Gulf crisis to resolve their dispute as quickly as possible through dialogue.
Tillerson's trip will mark a new level of US involvement in the dispute [Anadolu]

Kuwait, the United States and Britain on Monday called on all sides in the Gulf crisis to resolve their dispute through dialogue and expressed "deep concern" over the continued rift.

Their call was issued in a joint statement following talks between US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, his Kuwaiti counterpart and Britain's national security adviser at the start of a Gulf tour in a bid to defuse the crisis.

The three nations appealed to the Gulf foes "to quickly contain the current crisis and resolve it at the earliest through dialogue", according to a statement cited by the KUNA news agency.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt on severed diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5 and accused Doha of funding extremist groups.

The four Arab nations also imposed tough economic sanctions on the tiny emirate with Saudi Arabia closing the sole border exit for Qatar.

A defiant Qatar has rejected a list of 13 demands from the Saudi-led coalition that included shutting broadcaster Al Jazeera, downgrading diplomatic ties with Iran and closing a Turkish military base.

Qatar has categorically denied the charges.

US involvement

The US has been supporting Kuwait's mediation efforts, and Tillerson's trip will mark a new level of US involvement in trying to broker a resolution.

"At the invitation of the Emir of Kuwait, the Secretary will travel to Kuwait City, Kuwait where he will meet with senior Kuwaiti officials to discuss ongoing efforts to resolve the Gulf dispute," the US State Department said.

On Thursday, the US state department warned the crisis could potentially drag on for week or even months and "possibly even intensify".

"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," state department spokesperson Heather Nauert said.

Last week, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis reaffirmed America's strategic security partnership with Qatar after speaking with his Qatari counterpart Khaled bin Mohammed al-Attiyah by phone.

Mattis stressed the importance of de-escalating tensions "so all partners in the Gulf region can focus on next steps in meeting common goals", a statement said.

Qatar hosts the largest US Air Force in the region.

An estimated 11,000 US and coalition forces are stationed at the al-Udeid Air Base in the country, from which US-led coalition aircraft stage sorties against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

Agencies contributed to this report