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Washington talks fail to secure breakthrough in Qatar crisis

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been huddling with Gulf diplomats all week, to no avail.
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 27:  U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson shakes hands with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani prior to a scheduled meeting at the State Department June 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. Tillerson and Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani  were expected to discuss a range of bilateral issues during their meeting. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Qatar’s top diplomat told an audience here today that his country is willing to have a dialogue with Arab Gulf states that have been blockading the tiny country for more than three weeks. But he rejected their ultimatum that Doha agree to a list of non-negotiable demands, from closing Al Jazeera news channel and a Turkish military base to downgrading diplomatic relations with Iran.

“We are willing to negotiate with our neighbors, but we won’t compromise our sovereignty,” Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told journalists and experts at an event hosted by the Arab Center Washington DC.

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