Demands To End Blockade Are Unproven Claims

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Led by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and the Maldives, announced on June 5 that they will suspend all of their political, economic and diplomatic ties with Qatar in response to the emirate's alleged support of terrorist groups.

Tillerson said in a statement: "Our role has been to encourage the parties to get their issues on the table, clearly articulated, so that those issues can be addressed and some resolution process can get under way to bring this to a conclusion".

The Saudi-led bloc closed their airspace to Qatari carriers and blocked the emirate's only land border, a vital route for its food imports. He attended a dinner at the Kuwait Embassy and met al-Jubeir on Tuesday, before joining Tillerson on Wednesday.

Saudi foreign minister, Adel al Jubeir, had already told reporters there is no wiggle room on their list of demands and that their expectation is for Qatar to comply completely.

The demands included, among others, that Qatar shut down the Al Jazeera media network, close a Turkish military base and scale down ties with Iran.

In Saudi Arabia, thousands of farmers and domestic workers originally from Asian countries have been effectively stranded in the nearly one-month-old spat after their employers were kicked out, Ali Bin Smaikh al-Marri, chair of Qatar's National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), said in a Wednesday media conference.


But Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, also in Washington, refused to budge over the three-week-old squabble, which has left Qatar, a USA ally, isolated under a trade and diplomatic embargo set by its Gulf Arab neighbors. "Platts has also observed vessels berthing at key co-load ports in the region before or after calling at Qatar for loading, clearly indicating that co-loading is normalizing in the Gulf, including in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia", it said. Some of the demands remain vague; many require a huge change of course from Qatar in terms of both its foreign and domestic policy.

Saudi Arabia and its allies are waging a brutal war in Yemen against Houthi rebels allegedly backed by Iran, and are supporting the U.S. war in Syria aimed at ousting the Iranian- and Russian-backed government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel yesterday appealed to all sides in the Qatar crisis to hold direct talks to avoid a further escalation, and warned that continued tensions between Qatar and its neighbors would further deepen fault lines in the region. Kuwait, which retained ties with Qatar, is trying to mediate in the dispute with the support of Washington.

Earlier on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said that there will be no negotiations over his country's demand that Qatar stops supporting "terrorism"-an allegation Doha denies".

Shipowners and charterers have received official notifications that clearly indicate that vessels may call into Gulf ports on the way from, or on the way to, Qatar ports, Platts also said.

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