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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Qatar’s foreign minister reveals ‘positive progress’ in UAE talks


The Gulf dispute ended just this year, following the Al Ula Declaration earlier in January. 

Qatar’s foreign minister confirmed there is a “positive vision” to overcome differences with the former blockading countries, in particular the United Arab Emirates.

In an interview aired with the UK-based Al Araby television on Thursday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani confirmed Doha has held several round of talks with the UAE to pave the way for restoring ties following the historic Al Ula declaration that ended a three-year-long Gulf dispute.

In June 2017, the UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt, imposed an illegal land, air and sea blockade on Qatar. The crisis ended with the signing of the Al Ula Declaration earlier this year.

While movements between Riyadh and Cairo have been gaining pace, questions have been raised about the restoration of ties between Doha, Abu Dhabi and Manama.

However, the FM said it is normal for talks to see developments at different paces.

Read also: Qatar’s amir visits Saudi Arabia following invitation from king

“With the UAE, the committees held several meetings … and we sensed from the working teams a positive vision to overcome differences,” the minister stated, noting the last round was held a few weeks ago.

“It could take some time to move past this difficult period,” he added.

Among the topics of contention between Doha, Abu Dhabi and Cairo is Qatar’s support for groups outlawed by the quartet, namely the Muslim Brotherhood.

However, Sheikh Mohammed said despite progress made with Egypt, “this file was not brought up as far as I know.

“We do not have many outstanding issues with Egypt and there is positive progress,” he added, noting coordination between the two countries to secure a ceasefire brokered by Egypt in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Last week, Qatar’s invited Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to visit Doha. The invitation was sent via Qatar’s FM during his visit to Cairo.

According to Al Jazeera, the meeting resulted in an Egyptian-Qatari agreement to develop relations between the two states as well as ways to advance the mechanisms of Arab action in light of current regional challenges.

Qatar’s amir visits Saudi Arabia

Earlier this month, Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani met with Saudi Arabia‘s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud in Jeddah to enhance diplomatic ties between both countries.

According to state owned Qatar National Agency, the meetings touched on bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar as well as means to enhance them in various fields. The most prominent of international issues, with a special focus on recent developments in the region, were also discussed in the talks at Al Salam Palace.

The current flare in Israeli violence against Palestinians in Jerusalem as well as issues concerning Iran were also understood to be high on the agenda.

The meeting came as a response to an official invitation sent by Saudi Arabia‘s King Salman Al-Saud last month inviting the amir to the neighbouring kingdom.

The messages were delivered by Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Abdullah al-Saud, who met with the amir and and later the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed to review bilateral relations between the two countries as well as the strengthening of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) ties.

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