US official Tillerson says Saudi not ready for talks with Qatar on GCC crisis

The US Secretary of State met with the Saudi Crown Prince in Riyadh

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.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic, trade and transport ties with Qatar in June, accusing it of supporting terrorism – a charge Doha denies.

A senior UAE official said on Saturday it was up to Qatar to end the crisis ahead of a summit of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council in December.

“The ball is in its court and it is aware of what is required of it,” Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash wrote on his Twitter account.