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Bahrain: Dispute with Qatar won't be long-term

October 24, 2017 at 8:36 pm

Bahrain’s diplomatic dispute with Qatar is not likely to last for long, and will not change Bahrain’s economic outlook, the Bahraini minister of industry, commerce and tourism said today.

“I think that the issue we have with Qatar is not something of a long-term nature – the dispute is going to get solved sooner or later,” Zayed Al-Zayani told a business conference in the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh. He did not specify how the dispute might be settled.

His comments struck a more optimistic tone than remarks by many other Gulf officials on the diplomatic rift. The United Arab Emirates’ Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash has said Qatar could remain isolated for years.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar in early June, accusing it of supporting terrorism, which Doha denies.

Al-Zayani said Bahrain, which has been downgraded to junk status by credit rating agencies as low oil prices pressured its finances, would press ahead with efforts to strengthen its economy by spending on development projects, relying partly on aid from neighbouring countries.

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