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Tillerson Leaves Gulf After Crisis Talks, No Word On Progress

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets with the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia July 12, 2017

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has left the Gulf region after four days of talks to help mediate a dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia and its allies.

Tillerson on July 13 declined to comment after meeting Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, in his second stop in the tiny Gulf nation during his trip to the region.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and other countries broke all diplomatic and commercial ties with Qatar over the Gulf nation’s alleged funding for Islamic extremists and its close ties to regional rival Iran.

The four Arab nations set a list of 13 demands on Qatar and threatened further sanctions against the country if it fails to comply.

Qatar denies the allegations and says they are an attempt to infringe on the country’s sovereignty.

A day earlier, Tillerson held talks in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah with ministers from the four Arab countries without word of a breakthourgh.

On a first stop in Qatar, Tillerson signed a U.S.-Qatari accord on terrorism financing in an effort to help ease the crisis, but the Saudis and their allies said it was not enough to ease their concerns.

Diplomacy could now turn to the Europeans. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is scheduled to travel to the region during the weekend.

Similar trips were made by Le Drian’s counterparts from Germany and Britain in recent weeks.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP