US minister of foreign affairs Rex Tillerson discussed the Qatari crisis with his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani at the State Department in Washington. The US secretary of state is trying to push the parties to reduce tensions after Doha rejected a list of demands by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt in exchange for ending the diplomatic and trade boycott it has imposed for nearly three weeks.He also met with US Secretary of State for Cabinet Affairs Mohammed Abdullah Al-Sabah.
The Kuwaiti minister arrived in the US capital Washington on an official visit. Tillerson tried to calm down in the statement last Sunday after days of telephone contact with Riyadh and Doha. Earlier, a statement by the US State Department said Qatar was conducting a careful review of the series of demands made by the boycotting countries. The statement noted that it is very difficult for Doha to respond to some of these demands, but there are several notable areas that can form the ground for ongoing dialogue to resolve the crisis.
In Moscow, the Russian Orientalist Yelena Sobunina, adviser to the director of the Institute for Strategic Studies of Russia, confirmed that the situation in Qatar after the end of Ramadan began to worsen again. Despite the mediation of Kuwait, the situation continues to deteriorate, the expert said. The expert added that it is not possible to exclude the military scenario for the development of the situation. However, Soponina believes that there are opportunities to avoid the worst scenario thanks to mediators who can influence the situation towards dialogue.
In Doha, the boycott imposed by four Arab countries that accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism has put pressure on the tourism sector. Doha hotels, usually full of Eid holidays, have seen a sharp decline in occupancy rates. A Reuters survey of five major hotels showed an average occupancy rate of about 57 percent on Sunday, the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday when friends and families gather together to eat, pray and spend holidays. "The hotel was usually full of Saudis and Bahrainis, but not this year," said an employee at a five-star hotel.
Hamad International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the Middle East, will deal with 76% of flights in the same period a year ago, with a loss of about 27,000 passengers per day, according to Will Horton, an aviation analyst. Hundreds of weekly flights from and to Qatar have already been canceled because of the dispute. Hamad airport will lose the fees paid by airlines and travelers, as well as revenues from free-market shops and restaurants. The flights, which have been suspended by the four Arab countries, account for about 25 percent of Qatar Airways' government-owned flights, one of the top three in the region.