Qatar foreign minister says there has been movement on resolving Gulf dispute

DUBAI – Qatar’s foreign minister said on Friday (Dec 4) that there has been movement on resolving a bitter diplomatic dispute among the Gulf countries but that he could not predict whether a breakthrough was imminent or would fully resolve the matter.

The United and Kuwait have been working to end a row that has seen Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt sever diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Qatar since mid-2017. Washington says it wants a united Gulf front against Iran.

Qatar Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani’s comments to an Italian diplomatic conference come after House senior adviser Jared Kushner held talks in Doha on Wednesday following a visit to Saudi Arabia.

“Right now there are some movements that we hope will put an end to this crisis,” said Sheikh Mohammed, speaking via video-link.

“We are hopeful that things will move in the right direction right now. We cannot predict whether it will be imminent or resolve the issue in one day.”

The other four nations accuse Doha of supporting terrorism and cosying up to Iran. Qatar, which hosts the region’s largest US military base, denies the charges and says the boycott is aimed at undermining its sovereignty.

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