Qatar's defence minister to visit Turkey amid base controversy

President Reassures Qatar of Support

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain announced they were suspending all ties with Qatar over accusations the emirate supports extremist groups - a claim Doha denies.

The U.S., which urges a diplomatic solution to the crisis, has been pushing for a list of grievances that are "reasonable and actionable".

The minister was speaking at a meeting with reporters at the Saudi embassy in Washington. He quickly followed that with a meeting with Kuwait Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Sabah, whose country has taken on the official role of mediator.

Three weeks after Saudi Arabia and other Arab states imposed trade and diplomatic embargoes on Qatar, Tillerson held talks in Washington with Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, foreign minister of Qatar, which has been a firm American ally.

They required Qatar to cut diplomatic relations with Iran, close the Turkish military base, eliminate Al-Jazeera TV channel, extradite all persons wanted in four countries on charges of terrorism and pay compensation.

Indeed, the US strategy for defeating the Islamic State group and resolving Syria's civil war relies heavily on unity among a coalition of partners in which Qatar, Saudi Arabia and others are key players.

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On June 22, the Saudi-led bloc issued a 13-point demand list in exchange for the end of the anti-Qatar measures and gave a 10-day deadline. In the short term, Turkey and Iran have been supplying dairy produce and other food supplies to help Qatar. It is being told that these demands have been supplied to Qatar through Kuwait.

Joe Scarborough took aim at Al Jazeera on Wednesday's episode of Morning Joe, slamming the news organization for being used as a prop to spread disinformation and support terrorism.

The wording does not give Washington an obvious role in any diplomacy, and USA secretary of state Rex Tillerson had earlier said the demands should be "reasonable and actionable".

Mr Al Jubeir, who is now visiting Washington, confirmed that his country will not ease the trade embargo imposed on Qatar until all demands are met.

Saudi Arabia and its allies are waging a brutal war in Yemen against Houthi rebels allegedly backed by Iran, and are supporting the United States war in Syria aimed at ousting the Iranian- and Russian-backed government of President Bashar al-Assad.

The United States has cautioned that some of the demands would be hard for Qatar to accept, asking the Saudis for a clear list of grievances that are "reasonable and actionable". Commenting on the list of demands, Tillerson on Sunday said some of the demands "will be very hard for Qatar to meet". He was also expected to meet Qatar's foreign minister while both men are in Washington, Guterres' spokesman said.

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