Qatar Says Talks With Saudi Arabia Begin Only When Embargo Lifted

(Bloomberg) -- Qatar’s ruler said negotiations to end the feud with its neighbors can only begin after the Saudi-led group ends the embargo on the gas-rich country.

“Our position on the solution hasn’t changed,” Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said at a conference in Doha on Saturday. “The blockade should be lifted and the dispute resolved with dialogue based on mutual respect and non-intervention in the internal affairs of states.”

Last week, Sheikh Tamim spurned an invitation from Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to attend a gathering of Gulf monarchies, which was seen as a sign of thawing relations after 18 months of Qatar’s boycott by the kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.

The overture came as Saudi Arabia sought to defuse pressure over the killing of a vocal critic in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia’s leadership is also under pressure from the U.S. Congress to mend regional divisions and end its war in Yemen.

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