Tillerson leaves Gulf with no end in sight to Qatar crisis

  • Tillerson leaves Gulf with no end in sight to Qatar crisis

Tillerson leaves Gulf with no end in sight to Qatar crisis

Six countries that cut diplomatic ties with Qatar last month have demanded Federation Internationale de Football Association strip the Gulf state of the 2022 World Cup and threatened a boycott.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt forced a land, ocean and air blockade on Qatar on June 5.

The Arab quartet have expelled Qatari nationals and imposed a blockade, impacting mixed-nationality families in the Gulf, students and people seeking medical treatment overseas.

France has called for a swift lifting of sanctions that target Qatari nationals in an effort to ease a month-long rift between the Gulf country and a Saudi Arabia-led group.

The diplomatic slack now appears likely to be picked up again by the Europeans, with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian heading to the region at the weekend. Qatar says the allegations are based on lies.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al Jubeir has said that the Foreign Ministry will provide the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs with a complete file of the negative actions carried out by Qatar over the years, saying a similar file was given to the USA and other allies.

France is seeking an end to the isolation of Qatar that has separated families across the region amid a spat between a Saudi-led group of nations and their gas-rich neighbour.

"The reality is we are far from a political solution that changes Qatar's course". The countries which have boycotted Qatar insist that Doha meet their demands while Qatar has rejected their demands. Those leagues stand to lose millions of dollars in profits if the pro teams have to suspend play while their best players play for their home countries in Qatar.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Samer Shehata of the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, however, said that while France's voice lends more support for Qatar, it does "not have a tremendous amount" of influence in the crisis. The alliance has moreover struggled to come up with a set of demands that many in the worldwide community have said need to be reasonable and actionable.

Ultimately, FIFA will want to take a decision on the merits of Qatar's ability to deliver a safe, secure and well managed World Cup rather than based on political arguments, many of which have yet to be substantiated. This came as the United States official had travelled to the region as a disinterested mediator to help settle the crisis and was expected to remain neutral, or at least not to adopt an approach that would annoy one of the parties. All three are considered allies of many Western nations.