Mon, 25 Jan 2021

Gulf countries set to resume ties with Qatar

By Jay Jackson, Australian News.Net
05 Dec 2020, 15:50 GMT+10

NEW YORK, New York - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has added his long-standing views to current reports that the years-long blockade against Qatar by neighboring Gulf states may be nearing its end.

A spokesman for Guterres, Stephane Dujarric said in a statement Friday that the Secretary-General is encouraged by the statement by the Foreign Minister of Kuwait and Acting Information Minister Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Nasser Al Mohammad Al Sabah and other reports that the Gulf rift is close to a resolution.

The United States too has expressed support, having strengthened relations with Qatar in recent years.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking in Manama, the Bahrain capital on Friday said the U.S. is very hopeful that the dispute, which he described as being between the Saudis and the Qataris, can be resolved. "We hope so because we think that's important for peace throughout the Middle East, but most importantly we think it's the right thing for the people of each of those countries. We're going to keep working to do our what we can to facilitate conversations and dialogue where we can help. We're anxious to be helpful," Pompeo said at the IISS Manama Dialogue.

"I get asked all the time, 'Well, when do you think this will end," or "When do you think the next country will sign the Abraham Accords?' Goodness gracious, I am out of the prediction business in terms of timing. Yeah. It will it'll be resolved when the parties conclude that it's in their best interest to do so, that it makes sense for their people. This is the central idea."

Saudi Arabia too seems to be warming to a resolution to the crisis. "We have made significant progress in the last few days thanks to the continuing efforts of Kuwait but also thanks to strong support from President Trump," Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said Friday.

"We hope this progress can lead to a final agreement which looks within reach and I can say I am somewhat optimistic that we are close to finalising an agreement between all the nations in the dispute."

The Secretary-General of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf Dr. Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf, also welcomed the statement from Kuwait's Foreign Minister and Acting Information Minister Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah.

Al-Hajraf said the statement 'reflects the council's strength and cohesion as well as its ability to overcome all obstacles and challenges with the grace of God, and with the wisdom of their Majesties and Highnesses the leaders of the GCC countries, which have always been the reference and refuge in the face of the challenges facing the march of the Council, which represents the strategic choice for its member states.'

In mid-2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Qatar over what the quartet described as support for terrorism. It also accused Doha of using the state-owned Al-Jazeera network of attempting to influence political outcomes.

The drama began after an announcement by the Qatar emir critical of other Gulf states, however it was later proved the announcement was false and had been originated to discredit Qatar. The FBI was called in by Doha to help track down the perpetrators.

Kuwait has spent the intervening years to bring the sparring countries back together, arguing the importance of a united Arab world. It seems the fruit of their efforts is at hand

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