US says Middle East crisis stalemated, fear could drag on for months

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WASHINGTON, July 7 (APP): The US State Department has
acknowledged that the Middle East diplomatic crisis has hit a
stalemate that could intensify and drag on for months, but
hoped that the shared goal of fighting terrorism will bring
them together eventually.
At a briefing at the State Department, spokesperson
Heather Nauert said the United States was becoming increasingly
concerned about the ongoing situation involving Qatar and GCC
countries that began a month ago.
“We’ve become increasingly concerned that that dispute is
at an impasse at this point. We believe that this could
potentially drag on for weeks; it could drag on for months;
it could possibly even intensify,” she added.
On Wednesday, President Trump spoke to President Abdel
Fattah Al Sisi of Egypt and discussed the ongoing dispute
between Qatar and its Arab neighbours. He called on the
all parties to negotiate ‘constructively’ to resolve the
dispute.
Early this week, President Trump also spoke separately
with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, Crown
Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, and Emir
Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar.
Ms. Nauert, the State Department spokesperson, told the
briefing that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been very
engaged and has made himself available to all sides of this
issue. “We continue to stay in close contact with all of them
and will continue to do so.”
She appreciated the efforts by Kuwait to try to mediate
the dispute and said that the United States believed that the
fight against terrorism was something that will bring all
these countries together eventually.
Answering a question about the announcement by the Israeli
government about new settlements in East Jerusalem, she said that
the US government views the continuation of unrestrained settlement
activity as an obstacle to an eventual peace process.
Referring to the recent visit by Jared Kushner, President’s
so-in-law and his senior adviser to Israel and Palestine, she
said that there will be more such visits to resolve the lingering
crisis, but added that the US position on the settlement activity
has not changed. She said that the settlement activity “can be an
obstacle to peace and we continue to make that a priority.”