Tillerson hopes for 'reasonable' demands on Qatar

Tillerson hopes for 'reasonable' demands on Qatar
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Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonTrump relationship with Tillerson has been tense for months: report Bill O'Reilly: With Trump, Tillerson coverage, the media takes us all for 'morons' Overnight Defense: Tillerson, Trump deny report of rift | Tillerson says he never considered resigning | Trump expresses 'total confidence' in secretary | Rubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad MORE on Wednesday cautioned that Arab countries’ demands in exchange for ending a blockade against Qatar need to be “reasonable.”

“In regards to the continuing dispute within the [Gulf Cooperation Council], we understand a list of demands has been prepared and coordinated by the Saudis, Emiratis, Egyptians and Bahrainis,” Tillerson said in a brief statement. “We hope the list of demands will soon be presented to Qatar and will be reasonable and actionable.

“We support the Kuwaiti mediation effort and look forward to this matter moving toward a resolution.”

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Earlier this month, the Saudi-led bloc cut ties and closed all land, sea and air borders with Qatar over accusations that Doha supports terrorism and is too close with Iran.

Tillerson has tried to play mediator, calling for tensions to cool and the blockade to end.

But President Trump slammed Qatar as a “a funder of terrorism, and at a very high level.”

The preparation of the demands comes after the State Department on Tuesday questioned the Saudi bloc’s motives in the crisis.

“We are mystified that the Gulf states have not released to the public, nor to the Qataris, the details about the claims that they are making toward Qatar,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said during a briefing. “The more the time goes by, the more doubt is raised about the actions taken by Saudi Arabia and the [United Arab Emirates].”

In addition to Tillerson’s statement, Trump spoke Wednesday with Saudi Arabia’s new crown prince about the crisis.

“The two leaders discussed the priority of cutting off all support for terrorists and extremists, as well as how to resolve the ongoing dispute with Qatar,” according to a White House statement.