Gulf crisis not nearing end – UAE, Bahrain suggest

UAE and Bahrain have downplayed reports that the Gulf diplomatic crisis is nearing towards an end after Qatar’s foreign minister hinted that boycotting countries are considering thawing ties with Doha.

UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash in a Tweet indicated that “Addressing long term genuine grievances of the four (boycotting) states is at the heart of resolving Qatar’s crisis; We are not there yet. That is the view from the Riyadh Summit,” he said.

Gargash’s Bahraini counterpart, Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, also indicated the crisis is no-where close to end.

The two foreign ministers’ comments follow speculations that the two-year old diplomatic feud was inching towards a solution after Qatar’s foreign minister Mohammad Bin Abdul Rahman confirmed last week to media following his visit to Riyadh that his country and the kingdom held talks to put an end to the diplomatic row.

The Saudi-led group that includes besides the three Gulf countries Egypt has severed ties with Doha over its alleged support for terrorism.

Although he had been invited to the 40th Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Riyadh, Qatar’s ruler Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani shunned the annual gathering and mandated Prime Minister Abdullah Bin Nasser Al Thani to replace him.

The Quartet had issued a list of 13 conditions, including shutdown of Al Jazeera network and cutoff of relations with Iran, as a prerequisite to the re-establishment of relations. Qatar has brushed aside the conditions that it considered unrealistic and breaching its sovereignty.

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