Tillerson: US Hopes Gulf Countries' Demands on Qatar 'Reasonable'

While Trump supported the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for an easing of the ban.

The State Department said it was "mystified" that Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates had not yet made clear their claims against Qatar or what they want to end the blockade.

Qatar Petroleum CEO Saad al-Kaabi said in an interview aired by the Doha-based Al Jazeera satellite network.

Despite heightened pressure from the political and economic blockade imposed by its Arab neighbors, Qatar, a gas-rich nation, has refused to back down so far. "Therefore, there are no steps regarding the crisis and no party has taken any steps", Al-Thani said.

Bahrain this week, in a bid to pressure the United States to adopt the Saudi-UAE definition of terrorism that includes any group, violent or not, that challenges government or potentially questions their autocratic rule, expelled Qatari military personnel working at a U.S. military base on the island state.

The US maintains a large military base in Qatar, which is home to some 11,000 personnel.

She noted that Mr. Trump had offered Mr. Tillerson as an intermediary, but she said that Mr. Tillerson's interactions with leaders from the region had led him to conclude that his mediation role was not necessary and "that they'll be able to work this out on their own".

Two traditional foes, Turkey and Iran, have found themselves on the same side of a bitter regional dispute between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Al-Kaabi said his small, peninsular country had found alternative ways to export directly from Doha, solving a halt in Qatari helium output. Either way, the lack of clarity on what they're actually accusing Qatar of, as the laundry list of allegations continues to grow, isn't lending itself to a negotiated settlement.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said earlier on Monday said that those seeking to isolate Qatar had no intention of backing down unless their demands were met."Qatar will realise that this is a new state of affairs and isolation can last years", Gargash told reporters in Paris. They have said they would put forward their demands within days.

"When was there a crisis when the State Department did not say we need to de-escalate?" he said.

Days before the embargo was declared, the Qatari state news agency was hacked and a report planted that quoted the emir as casting doubt on how long Trump would last in office, advocating closer ties with Iran and supporting Hamas.

With foreign currency reserves totalling 43.6 billion USA dollars and a sovereign fund of 335 billion dollars, Qatar has more than enough financial capability to import goods from other countries to break the blockade by its neighbors. Marri, speaking at a Doha press conference, added that he would be able "very soon" to give specific phone numbers for those who he claimed were responsible for the alleged hack.

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