US Secretary of State: Saudi Arabia not ready for talks with Qatar

A handout picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace on May 20, 2017, shows US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman al-Saud shaking hands during a signing ceremony at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. AFP PHOTO / Saudi Royal Palace / BANDAR AL-JALOUD / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – MANDATORY CREDIT “AFP PHOTO / SAUDI ROYAL PALACE / BANDAR AL-JALOUD” – NO MARKETING – NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS – DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTSBANDAR AL-JALOUD/AFP/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia is not yet ready to begin direct talks with Doha to resolve the nearly five-month diplomatic and trade cutoff affecting Qatar, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Sunday.

“There is not a strong indication that the parties are ready to talk yet,” Tillerson said of discussions he had earlier in the day in Riyadh with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman aimed at overcoming the row, Reuters reported.

The Gulf crisis began when Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE as well as Egypt and other countries cut ties with Qatar in June 2017 over its alleged funding of terrorists and terrorist organizations.

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