Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, October 22nd, 2018

Tillerson Aims to Ease Qatar Crisis with Shuttle Diplomacy

Tillerson Aims to Ease Qatar Crisis  with Shuttle Diplomacy

ISTANBUL — The Trump administration tossed aside its aversion to mediating a weeks-long Persian Gulf dispute Monday, as the top U.S. diplomat flew to the region hoping to corral Qatar and its neighbors into negotiation. The new approach isn’t without diplomatic risk, thrusting America into the middle of an Arab squabble at a time President Donald Trump had hoped the U.S. allies would be uniting against terrorism.
On his first foray into shuttle diplomacy since becoming secretary of state, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will hop between Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia from Monday until Thursday, testing ways to break an impasse that has persisted despite Kuwaiti mediation efforts. The crisis has badly damaged ties between several key American partners, including hosts of two major U.S. military bases, threatening counterterrorism efforts.
Washington is worried the dispute is hampering Trump’s bid to combat international terrorist financing. U.S. officials said Tillerson doesn’t expect an immediate breakthrough, which they warned could be months away. Rather, they said, he wants to explore possibilities for sparking negotiations.
“We’ve had one round of exchanges and dialogue and didn’t advance the ball,” senior Tillerson adviser R.C. Hammond said. (AP)