WASHINGTON: The United States says some demands on Qatar by its Mideast neighbours “will be very difficult to meet.” But the US isn’t rejecting the demands outright.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement that a list of demands from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates includes major areas that “provide a basis for ongoing dialogue leading to a resolution.”

He’s calling for Qatar and the other Arab countries to “sit together” to work through the list.

Tillerson is also calling for a “lowering of rhetoric” to “help ease the tension.”

He said the US is supporting Kuwait’s efforts to mediate.

The demands include shuttering Al Jazeera and severing ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Tillerson had previously insisted any demands be “reasonable and actionable.”

Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2017