Saudi Arabia and Qatar Continue Standoff as Crisis Deepens

The diplomatic standoff between Saudi Arabia and Qatar continued to deepen yesterday as the respective foreign ministers of each nation sparred over the Kingdom’s 13 demands of Qatar.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Tuesday that there would be no negotiations over demands by the kingdom and other Arab states for Qatar. Asked by reporters on a visit to Washington if the demands were non-negotiable, Saudi Arabia’s Al-Jubeir said: “Yes.”

“We made our point, we took our steps and it’s up to the Qataris to amend their behavior and once they do things will be worked out but if they don’t they will remain isolated,” Al-Jubeir said, according to Reuters.

However, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has urged Saudi Arabia negotiate, urging an “ongoing dialogue” with Qatar and for the two sides to end the conflict.

Qatar has begun its careful review and consideration of a series of requests presented by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE,” said Tillerson. “While some of the elements will be very difficult for Qatar to meet, there are significant areas which provide a basis for ongoing dialogue leading to resolution.”

Tillerson added: “A productive next step would be for each of the countries to sit together and continue this conversation. We believe our allies and partners are stronger when they are working together towards one goal, which we all agree is stopping terrorism and countering extremism.”

Secretary Tillerson met yesterday with the Foreign Minister of Qatarwho has condemned its Gulf neighbors for refusing to negotiate over their demands for restoring air, sea and land links.

Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani said the stance was “contrary to the principles” of international relations.