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No breakthrough in Gulf dispute, Qatar foreign minister says

February 29, 2020 at 3:46 pm

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar Mohammed Bin Abdul-Rahman Al Thani in Brussels, Belgium on 19 February 2020 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]

Talks on ending a nearly-three-year-old diplomatic dispute in the Gulf have produced “no breakthrough”, Qatar foreign minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said on Saturday, Reuters reports.

He told Al Jazeera his country hoped for a solution to the dispute, in which Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed political, trade and transport ties with Qatar in mid-2017 over accusations it had been supporting terrorism and cosying up to regional foe Iran.

But “efforts to reach a solution were not successful,” he said.

Qatar – which denies the accusations and says the embargo is intended to undermine its sovereignty – remains open to positive solutions based on respecting countries’ sovereignty, he said.

Six sources told Reuters this month that talks between Saudi Arabia and Qatar had broken down soon after they started, leaving in place the embargo on Doha that is hampering joint Gulf Arab efforts to counter Iran.

The discussions, which began in October, were the first hint of a possible thaw in the row.

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