The Secretaries of Defense and State in the US have called for the finding of a quick solution to the crisis in the Gulf as it comes close to the mark of eight months. On Tuesday US State Secretary, Rex Tillerson said that the Trump administration remains concerned as it was when the Gulf dispute first emerged. Secretary Tillerson was speaking at the inauguration of the strategic dialogue between Qatar and the United States in Washington DC. Tillerson stated in the presence of the ministers of defence and foreign affairs from Qatar. He added that it was of extreme importance that both parties should endeavor to minimize the rhetoric and exercise lots of restraint to avoid the crisis’ further escalation which would offer a favorable environment where a resolution can be found.
Tillerson said that the GCC had boosted the efforts for the peace process. Since the June of 2017, Qatar has been at loggerheads with the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt. Since then the four Arab nations have cut off any form of diplomatic relations with Qatar and have gone ahead to impose a sea, air and land blockade. The sanctions were levelled against Qatar on claims that it sponsored extremism and terrorism. However, the allegations have strongly been denied by the Qatar government officials and foreign envoys.
The minister of foreign affairs from Qatar, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, thanked both Rex Tillerson and the US defence Secretary James Mattis for their position on blockading countries which he said was just and fair. Al Thani added that the four countries have unjustifiably and illegally blockaded the government of Qatar and its great citizens and that the blockade had presented a hurdle for any efforts of offering stability to a region that was historically unstable. The United States and Qatar agreed that they would be signing agreements in major industries of their economy such as energy, investment, trade and defence.
Al Thani added that over $100 billion was being invested by his country into the American economy with an additional $10 billion set aside for infrastructure. He added that both Qatar and the US had a convergence of interests which translated into employment opportunities for the citizens of both countries. The initial move by president Trump to side with Saudi Arabia when he took office put him at loggerheads with both military commanders in the region and his senior diplomats who advised him on Middle East foreign policy.