Qatar news LIVE: Latest updates – Rex Tillerson visits Gulf in bid to end Qatar crisis

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.

As Rex Tillerson visits Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia this week, here are live updates and breaking news on the escalating crisis. (All times BST)
Tuesday July 11 2pm: Foreign ministers from the four Arab states leading the boycott of Qatar will meet with Rex Tillerson in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah tomorrow to discuss the crisis.The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said: “Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry received an invitation from his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir to attend a meeting of foreign ministers from the four Arab states boycotting Qatar with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Jeddah tomorrow.”

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: Rex Tillerson and the Emir of Qatar

Qatar news LIVE: Rex Tillerson meets with the Emir of Qatar EPA

8am: Four Arab states have sought to pile pressure on Qatar over charges it backs terrorism, saying the publication of a previously secret accord between Riyadh and Doha showed Qatar broke a promise not to meddle in the affairs of Gulf countries.In a joint statement, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE said the publication of the accord, meant to settle a dispute between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours, “confirms beyond any doubt Qatar’s failure to meet its commitments and its full violation of its pledges”.

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.

Monday July 109pm: Rex Tillerson has said that Saudi Arabia’s conditions for resuming diplomatic and economic relations with Qatar are not realistic.Mr Tillerson is in the Gulf for most of the week in a bid to mediate a deal between Qatar and four neighbouring countries.

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

11am Qatar’s central bank said it has $340 billion in reserves including holdings of its sovereign wealth fund that could help the Gulf country to weather the isolation.Central bank governor Sheikh Abdullah Bin Saoud al-Thani told CNBC: “This is the credibility of our system, we have enough cash to preserve any..kind of shock.”10am Qatar is forming a committee to seek compensation for damages caused by the blockade imposed by its Arab neighbours just over a month ago.

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.

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