Easing tensions in the Gulf region

(VOVWORLD) - After a month of diplomatic tensions between Qatar and its neighbors, efforts are being stepped up to prevent the situation from getting worse.
Easing tensions in the Gulf region - ảnh 1Tillerson arrived in Kuwait on Monday for talks aimed at resolving the Gulf crisis [AP] 

The diplomatic crisis began early last month when several countries accused Qatar of supporting terrorism. Tensions have been sustained due to tough stances on both sides.

Tough stances

In addition to diplomatic sanctions, four Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia have isolated Qatar in economics, finance, and banking, and imposed a land, sea and air blockade to force Qatar to change its policies. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt have issued a 13-point ultimatum demanding that Doha close its Al Jazeera TV channel, distance itself from Iran, close a Turkish military base and end its support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

In defiance of their threat to tighten sanctions, Qatar announced that it has sufficient resources to cope. Doha says the aim of the ultimatum is not to combat terrorism but to violate Qatar’s sovereignty and weaken it. Qatar has denied the accusation that it supports terrorism and has threatened to withdraw from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), an economic and political alliance of Gulf countries. On Tuesday, Qatar set a 3-day deadline for lifting the “siege” imposed on Qatar and compensate it for political and economic losses. In a letter to GCC Secretary General Abdul Latif Bin Rashid Al Zayani, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that after the deadline, Qatar will officially announce its withdrawal from the GCC.

Efforts to ease tensions

Diplomatic efforts are being made to defuse the tension. Kuwait says it’s ready to mediate. At a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Kuwaiti Amir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al-Sabah said he is hoping for a negotiated settlement. The two men agreed that this conflict is having humanitarian consequences and weakening the fight against terrorism. They called for an easing of the sanctions prior to negotiations. The Turkish President said he will visit the Gulf countries on Friday to try to reduce tensions. During the next two weeks, Iran expand non-oil trade and food exports to Qatar via sea and air routes.

For the moment, an armed conflict seems unlikely, but observers are watching the situation closely.