Qatar FM says talks with Saudi break ‘stalemate’

Qatar’s Foreign Minister has voiced optimism over ending a bitter rift with Riyadh, saying early talks broke a “stalemate” but stressed Doha’s unwillingness to downgrade ties with Turkey as a pre-condition.

Saudi Arabia along with its allies the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut all diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar in June 2017.

The four nations accused Doha of backing radical Islamists, including the Muslim Brotherhood, and seeking closer ties with Saudi arch rival Tehran — allegations Qatar vehemently denies.

“There (is) some progress... We have broken the stalemate of non-communication to starting communication with the Saudis,” Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani told CNN in an interview broadcast on Sunday.

The Saudi-led bloc made 13 key demands to resolve the dispute, including shutting down broadcaster Al Jazeera, downgrading ties with Iran and closing a Turkish military base on its territory. But the UAE has sought to downplay the reconciliation effort.

Experts say Saudi Arabia could embrace a rapprochement with Doha while the UAE keeps its distance.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 1:16:18 AM |

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