Saudi Foreign Minister Expresses Intent To Resolve Qatar Blockade

The blockading nations blamed Qatar for supporting “terrorism” and meddling in their internal events for years.

Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister: Saudi Arabia replaces foreign minister in government reshuffle - Arabianbusiness
Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud. (AFP)

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister has signaled progress may be underway towards resolving the three-year-old rift with its Gulf neighbor Qatar, following a meeting in Washington with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“We are devoted to finding a solution,” Prince Faisal bin Farhan said in a virtual discussion held by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think-tank, on Thursday.

“We pursue to be willing to engage with our Qatari brothers, and we hope that they are as committed to that engagement.

“However, we do need to address the legitimate security concerns of the quartet, and I believe there is a path toward that” with a solution “in the near future,” said Prince Faisal.

“If we can find a path forward to address the valid security concerns that drove us to make the decisions, that will be positive news for the region,” he added.

The blockading nations blamed Qatar for supporting “terrorism” and meddling in their internal events for years. Doha was also blamed for being too close to rival Iran. Qatar has vehemently rejected those claims.

Qatar Crisis - Carefully Navigating Through Saudi Led Blockade

The Trump cabinet has been pushing for an end to the crisis and paving the way for a united Gulf against Iran.

Several past attempts to finish the dispute have failed, as Qatar has rejected the blockading nations’ demands, including shutting down the Al Jazeera Media Network, cutting ties with armed religious groups, limiting ties with Iran, and expelling Turkish soldiers stationed in the state.

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Al Thani has said that his nation is ready for dialogue to resolve the diplomatic crisis but emphasized that any solution to the problem must respect its sovereignty.

In June, Kuwait, which is a mediator between Qatar and its quartet of Gulf neighbors, said there was progress towards resolving the standoff, but only small progress has been made.

Qatar crisis: the latest developments
Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. (TRT World and Agencies)

Last year, the Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said early negotiations with Saudi Arabia had broken the impasse. However, a month later, he said that efforts to resolve the dispute were unsuccessful.

Prince Faisal toured Washington for a US-Saudi strategic dialogue at the State Department on Wednesday that comprised discussions about relations with Israel, the US’ “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, and the war in Yemen.

In 2017, Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, and Egypt, cut official and trade ties with Doha and inflicted a sea, land, and air blockade on the gas-rich nation.

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