WASHINGTON – The US State Department said on Thursday the United States is increasingly concerned that a dispute between Qatar and other Middle East countries was at an impasse, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.
“We remain very concerned about that ongoing situation involving Qatar and GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries,” said US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert at a briefing.
“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,” Nauert added.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5 and imposed punitive measures, accusing Qatar of “supporting terrorism and interfering in their internal affairs.”
The four Arab countries then issued a list of 13 demands to end rift with Doha, including closing Al-Jazeera television and cutting diplomatic ties with Iran.
The four countries announced Wednesday morning that they received the Qatari response through Kuwait, which has played as a mediator to reach a solution for the crisis.
However, speaking at a press conference after meeting his counterpart of Saudi Arabia, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Wednesday that Qatar’s response to the demands of Egypt and Gulf countries was “very negative.”