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Qatar FM: No obstacles to resolving Gulf crisis

Sheikh Mohammed said the diplomatic dispute should be resolved by dialogue, respect of sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of states.

There are no obstacles to resolving the Gulf crisis at the political level, Qatar’s foreign minister has said, days after confirming there was movement on easing the diplomatic dispute that has pitted the Gulf neighbours against each other.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a diplomatic, trade and travel boycott on Qatar in June 2017, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism and having ties with Iran that were deemed too close.

Qatar has repeatedly rejected the accusations as baseless while highlighting its readiness for dialogue.

Speaking on Wednesday during a press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said the Gulf crisis should be resolved by dialogue, respect of sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of states.

He also stressed the importance of a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) united front, adding that Qatar views the issue of Gulf security as a priority and believes that an escalation is not in anyone’s interest.

“We will all emerge victorious from the crisis if we rebuild confidence in the GCC as a regional institution,” he said, adding that talks to resolve the crisis were with Saudi Arabia which represented the blockading quartet.

Right now, there is a movement that we hope will put an end to this crisis,” the Qatar foreign minister said earlier this month.

“We believe the end of the crisis is important for the security of the region and for sake of our people. This crisis needs to end based on mutual respect and the rights of all people of the Gulf.

“Qatar is not differentiating between any of the countries. We hope things will move in the right direction but we cannot yet predict if it will be imminent and if it will be resolved in one day.”

Earlier this month, sources told that Qatar and Saudi Arabia were close to striking a preliminary agreement to end the dispute.

The expected deal comes after United States President Donald Trump’s adviser Jared Kushner toured the Gulf region earlier this month as part of a last-ditch effort to resolve the Gulf crisis before the Trump administration leaves office in January.

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al-Sabah had also signalled “constructive and fruitful discussions” on efforts to achieve reconciliation in the Gulf crisis but stopped short of announcing any breakthrough in the dispute.

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