EXPRESS UK | PUBLISHED: 16:45, Tue, Jul 11, 2017 | UPDATED: 16:55, Tue, Jul 11, 2017
REX Tillerson is visiting the Gulf in a bid to end the standoff between Qatar and its Arab neighbours. Here is the latest news and live updates on the Gulf crisis.
By ALICE FOSTER
Qatar news live: Rex Tillerson visits Gulf after Qatar announced compensation committee
Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt dramatically cut ties with Qatar and imposed an unprecedented land, sea and air blockade over a month ago.
The US Secretary of State is now visiting the Gulf for talks aimed at ending the crisis which has left Qatar isolated and struggling with sanctions.
Qatar has denied allegations that it funds extremist groups and has rejected its Arab neighbours’ list of 13 demands – including the closure of Al Jazeera.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain imposed sanctions on Qatar last month, accusing the tiny Gulf monarchy of financing extremist groups and allying with their rival Iran, which Doha denies.
12.40pm: Rex Tillerson told the press in Doha that Qatar had “very reasonable” views in the month-old diplomatic row with Arab neighbours and he was hopeful of progress towards a resolution.
“I am hopeful we can make some progress to begin to bring this to a point of resolution,” Mr Tillerson said alongside his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani.
“I think Qatar has been quite clear in its positions, and I think those have been very reasonable.”
Qatar news LIVE: Rex Tillerson meets with the Emir of Qatar EPA
The four nations have accused Qatar of supporting terrorism, cosying up to Iran, backing the Muslim Brotherhood – the world’s oldest Islamist organisation – and interference in their affairs.
The four say Qatar pledged to desist from interfering in its neighbours’ politics in the 2013 agreement.
Qatar has rejected the charges and said the four countries are trying to impose their own views on its foreign policies.
Mr Tillerson’s communications adviser R.C. Hammond said a resolution to the diplomatic crisis could still be “months away”.
He said: “We’ve had one round of exchanges and dialogue and didn’t advance the ball. Our job here is to keep people communicating and talking to each other.”
6.35pm: Rex Tillerson, has finally arrived in Kuwait to kick off his four-day visit to the Arab Gulf.
Mr Tillerson who was greeted upon arrival by a host of ministers and officials, is set to met Emir Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah this evening.
His visit also entails a meeting with the foreign minister and the British security adviser who is currently also in Kuwait.
3.05pm: Qatar Petroleum and French energy company Total are set to formally launch a 25-year joint venture to develop the Al Shaheen oil field.
2.10pm: Qatar’s exports to Japan, India, South Korea and China have not been affected by a boycott of Doha by four Arab states, Energy Minister Mohammed al-Sada said in a statement.
He said Qatar’s exports to the four Asian countries accounted for nearly three quarters of the country’s total exports. Exports to the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain accounted for under eight percent.
Qatar remains “committed to all its agreements with its partners and is determined to maintain this status despite the illegal and unjust embargo imposed on it,” the statement said, referring to its exports of liquefied natural gas and other agreements.
1pm: The US Secretary of State will visit Kuwait today to “discuss the ongoing efforts to resolve the Gulf dispute”, according to the State Department.
Kuwait is acting as a mediator between Qatar and the other four Arab countries. Rex Tillerson is set to meet Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah at 5.15pm BST.
Noon: RC Hammond, a senior adviser to Rex Tillerson, said he would explore ways to end a stalemate in the crisis following Qatar’s rejection of the 13 demands.
Mr Hammond said it was critical that not only Qatar, but Riyadh and its allies take steps to halt any financial support flowing to extremists groups.
“It’s a two-way street,” he said. “There are no clean hands here. We want progress on terrorism financing.”
Qatar FM responds to demands from Saudi Arabia and its allies
Qatari Public Prosecutor Ali Al Marri said the government is forming a committee to handle claims made by private companies, public institutions and individuals.
He said the Compensation Claims Committee would deal with cases including major companies, such as Qatar Airways, and individuals like expelled students.