The U.S. is once again trying to resolve a Gulf crisis, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson heads back to the region following an unsuccessful attempt in July. The top U.S. diplomat did not himself hold out much hope of an immediate breakthrough in the stand-off between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, but the trip may clarify the issues at stake. "I do not have a lot of expectations for it being resolved anytime soon," Tillerson admitted on Thursday during an interview with the Bloomberg news agency. There seems to be a real unwillingness on the part of some of the parties to want to engage."
The Gulf crisis is the worst to hit the region since the establishment of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in 1981. With the support of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain, the Saudis announced on June 5 that they were suspending all ties with Qatar. These four Arab nations that cut ties with Qatar previously urged the tiny Gulf nation to commit to six principles on combating extremism and terrorism and to negotiate a plan with specific measures to implement them. They initially made 13 demands, which Qatar also dismissed. Qatari foreign minister said on July 31 that the crisis should be solved through diplomacy without touching Qatar's sovereignty and made it clear that Qatar will not accept any demands that are not in line with international law.Tillerson departed on Friday for travel to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Pakistan and India before returning home through Switzerland on Oct. 27, the department said in a statement.