Qatar Sees No Political Obstacles for Resolving Gulf Standoff

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Qatar’s foreign minister said talks were ongoing to resolve the rift that has divided the energy-rich Gulf nations, and that there weren’t any obstacles to resolve the crisis at a political level.

Talks on a reconciliation had taken place with Saudi Arabia, which represented the other parties to the dispute, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said in Moscow, according a statement posted on Qatar’s foreign ministry website. He also called for dialogue between countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council and Iran.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic, trade and transport links with Qatar in 2017, accusing the gas-rich country of maintaining close ties with Iran and supporting terrorism. Qatar denies the charges.

But talks of a potential breakthrough began to circulate earlier this month. Kuwait’s foreign minister said last week that a meeting Gulf leaders was planned for Jan. 5 in Riyadh.

People with knowledge of the matter said that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are close to a preliminary rapprochement that may not initially include the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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