The Latest: Tillerson aims to get Qatar, neighbors to talk

Markets Associated Press

The Latest on U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's shuttle diplomacy aimed at ending the Gulf crisis between Qatar and four other Arab nations. (all times local):

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12:40 a.m.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Qatar and its Arab neighbors are closer to sitting down to talk with each other.

Qatar and the four neighbors that cut ties aren't speaking, and no meeting has been announced. But Tillerson tells reporters as he flies back to the U.S. that they're more willing to do so than they were before.

Tillerson has been engaged in shuttle diplomacy in the Persian Gulf for the last week.

Tillerson says his diplomacy focused on creating written documents listing the issues between Qatar and its neighbors. He says he tried to categorize them so they could be more specifically addressed.

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Tillerson says some of the issues could be resolved quickly and others will likely take longer.

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5:30 p.m.

The top U.S. diplomat has wrapped up his first foray in shuttle diplomacy with little sign of progress in breaking a deadlock between Qatar and four Arab neighbors that are isolating it.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson traveled to the tiny, U.S.-allied Gulf nation for a second time and held a lunch meeting with 37-year-old Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani before heading back to Washington later Thursday.

Tillerson and his Qatari counterpart appeared before cameras in the capital, Doha, but ignored reporters' questions before he left.

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9:45 a.m.

The U.S.'s top diplomat was expected to travel back to Qatar for more talks with the country's 37-year-old emir.

The move comes a day after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wrapped up discussions with the king of Saudi Arabia and other officials from Arab countries lined up against Qatar.

Tillerson's travels have so far not led to any signs of a breakthrough in an increasingly entrenched dispute that has divided some of America's most important Mideast allies.

Tillerson's trip from Kuwait to the western Saudi city of Jiddah followed discussions on Tuesday with Qatari emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani that ended with the signing of a counterterrorism pact.