Saudi Arabia prepares list of demands from Qatar
WASHINGTON - Saudi Arabia and its allies have drawn up a list of demands to be presented to Qatar, the United States said Wednesday, as President Donald Trump discussed the regional crisis with new Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The latest moves came as Washington stepped up its efforts to resolve the thorny row between Qatar -- home to the biggest US air base in the Middle East -- and its neighbors, led by Riyadh.
"We hope the list of demands will soon be presented to Qatar and will be reasonable and actionable," US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, in a statement.
Later, addressing reporters after a meeting with senior Chinese officials, Tillerson said Washington had been pushing for a clear list of grievances.
"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 underway to bring this to a conclusion," he said.
"Our desire is for unity within the Gulf and unity within the GCC and that we direct all of our efforts onto the war against terror," he said, referring to the Gulf Cooperation Council, a fractious regional alliance.
Two weeks ago, Riyadh and several of its allies including Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, cut ties with Qatar over accusations that Doha supports extremist groups, including some linked to Saudi foe Iran -- a claim Qatar denies.
In addition to diplomatic isolation, other measures taken included closing Qatar's only land border, banning its planes from using their airspace and barring Qatari nationals from transiting through their airports.
Trump's administration has sent contradictory signals on the crisis. While the US president has made statements siding with Saudi Arabia, Washington has shown mounting frustration over the kingdom's role in the crisis.