Qatar Foreign Minister signals progress in resolving Gulf crisis

Qatar said on Friday there had been “some movements” towards resolving the Gulf crisis which has pitted a regional group of nations against Doha.

Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmed Nasser al-Mohammed Al-Sabah, who is leading mediation efforts, later said that all sides had expressed keenness for a “final agreement” during recent “fruitful discussions” which have included the United States.

Saudi Arabia led its allies — the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt — to cut ties with Qatar in 2017, accusing it of backing radical Islamist movements and Iran, charges Doha denies.

They subsequently forced out Qataris residing in their countries, closed their airspace to Qatari aircraft and sealed their borders and ports, separating some mixed-nationality families.

“We have achieved certain progress at a certain point of time more than a year ago, and then things have slowed,” Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said at the Mediterranean Dialogues forum in Rome.

“Right now, there are some movements that we hope will put an end (to) this crisis,” he said, without giving details.

“We believe that Gulf unity is very important for the security of the region. This needless crisis needs to end based on mutual respect.”

U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, is reported to have raised the Gulf crisis and pushed for progress towards ending the spat during a visit to Qatar on Wednesday.


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