US state secretary Tillerson says US 'offers dialogue' in Doha as part of efforts to solve Gulf crisis.
“We think it’s time, that it’s time that solutions be sought,” said Tillerson at a joint press conference with Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani in Doha.
Tillerson said, “We’re going to continue to offer whatever assistance we can, whether it be hosting a dialogue or facilitating dialogue, and support the ongoing efforts of – as I said, of the emir of Kuwait”.
“As the Gulf dispute does near its five-month mark, the United States remains concerned,” he said, “The dispute has had negative consequences economically and militarily for those involved, and certainly the United States has felt the effects of that as well”.
“We think it’s very important for the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) to continue to pursue unity,” he added.
Tillerson arrived in Qatar on Sunday for the second leg of a regional tour that took off with a Riyadh visit. The top American diplomat took part in the first coordination meeting between Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
This is Tillerson's second visit to Saudi Arabia and Qatar in four months as part of efforts to solve the Gulf crisis that broke out after Riyadh, along with Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Doha, accusing it of supporting terrorism.
Tillerson also reiterated the U.S.’s stance against the illegitimate Kurdish referendum.
“We did not believe it was time given that the battle to defeat ISIS [Daesh] is still underway,” he said.
Tillerson added, “Clearly, what we were concerned about is the referendum would lead to a distraction from the fight to defeat ISIS or Daesh, and that unfortunately is, I’m afraid, what we’re now experiencing with these efforts to move forces back to prior positions”.
On Sept. 25, Iraqis in Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)-controlled-held areas -- and in several disputed parts of the country -- voted on whether or not to declare independence from the Iraqi state.
According to poll results announced by the KRG, almost 93 percent of those who cast ballots voted in favor of independence.
The illegitimate referendum faced sharp opposition from most regional and international actors (including the U.S., Turkey and Iran), who warned that the poll would distract from Iraq’s fight against terrorism and further destabilize the region.