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US: List of demands to Qatar should be reasonable

Tillerson says Saudi Arabia and its allies listed demands and he hopes they will be 'reasonable and actionable'.

Tillerson said the US backs a Kuwaiti mediation effort [Aaron P Bernstein/Reuters]

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said that Washington hopes Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies will soon present Qatar a list of "reasonable and actionable" demands to move the diplomatic crisis towards a resolution.

"We understand a list of demands has been prepared and coordinated by the Saudis, Emiratis, Egyptians and Bahrainis," Tillerson said in a statement on Wednesday.

US 'mystified' over Gulf states' position towards Qatar

"We hope the list of demands will soon be presented to Qatar and will be reasonable and actionable."

Tillerson said the United States backs a Kuwaiti mediation effort aimed at resolving the crisis.

His comments came a day after the state department said it was "mystified" that the Gulf states had not yet offered the grievances that prompted a rift with Qatar.

"At this point, we are left with one simple question: Were the actions really about their concerns regarding Qatar's alleged support for terrorism or were they about the long-simmering grievances between and among the GCC countries," Heather Nauert, spokesperson for the state department said on Tuesday, referring to the Gulf Cooperation Council.

On Wednesday, Ahmed bin Saeed al-Rumaihi, spokesman for Qatar's foreign ministry, said Doha welcomed the state department's stance.

He reaffirmed "Qatar's strategic stance that supports solving the crisis by civilised dialogue".

READ MORE - Qatar-Gulf crisis: All the latest updates

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic ties and cut off sea and air links with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting "terrorism" - a charge Doha strongly denies.

They ordered Qatari nationals to leave their countries and urged their citizens to return to their respective nations, disrupting the lives of thousands in the region and restricting their freedom of movement.

Sanctions also disrupted food and other imports into Qatar.

The UAE said this week the measures could last for years unless Doha accepted demands that the Arab powers plan to reveal in the coming days.

Qatar's Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, who is expected to travel to Washington next week, said Doha would not negotiate with its neighbours to resolve the dispute unless they first lift the trade and travel restrictions.

Over the past two weeks, US President Donald Trump has taken a tougher stance against Qatar, while the State Department and the Pentagon had previously sought to remain neutral in the Gulf crisis.

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Source: News agencies