With the US increasingly eager to directly insinuate itself into the Qatar blockade situation and negotiate a settlement, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a hasty tour of the states involved, in what was being heralded as a major shuttle diplomacy effort.
Today, that effort came to an end, with Tillerson ending his effort in Saudi Arabia. There was no official statement on the effort, and all behind the scenes reports suggest that there was no real progress and the two sides both remain at loggerheads.
Tillerson returned to Kuwait, where he started the effort, today to confer with Kuwaiti mediators. So far it’s not even clear what was being proposed by US officials beyond vague talk of “negotiations,” with the four blockading states insisting that they will continue the blockade until Qatar capitulates, and Qatar insisting they won’t accept the demands.
Indeed, the only change to come out of the last few days in public is from Egypt, one of the blockading states, who demands that the US expel Qatar from the anti-ISIS coalition on general principle. The US, clearly doesn’t intend to do that, but the demands show the two sides getting further apart, if anything.
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