Saudi Arabia-Qatar Conflict Resolution Has Made ‘Significant Progress’

Saudi Arabia and Qatar have taken “significant steps” in resolving their three-year dispute, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud said at a political conference on Friday.

“We have made significant progress over the past few days, thanks to the ongoing efforts of Kuwait but we are also grateful for the strong support of President Trump and American officials in bringing all parties closer,” Prince Faisal told the MED 2020 forum in Rome.

“We hope that this progress can lead to a final agreement that seems achievable and I can only say that I hope we are close to concluding an agreement between all nations in the dispute to reach a decision that we think will satisfy all,” Prince Faisal said.

Exacerbation Of Ties

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates severed ties with Qatar in 2017 in the worst possible crisis of Gulf Arab conflict for decades.

It was the first time Saudi Arabia had publicly acknowledged efforts to resolve the Qatar crisis.

Saudi Arabia–Qatar relations refers to the current and historical relationship between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the State of Qatar. Prior to 2017, the two countries maintained cordial ties. Qatar was mainly subservient to Saudi Arabia in matters relating to foreign policy.

Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani’s assumption of power saw Qatar reclaim its sovereignty in foreign affairs, often diverging from Saudi Arabia on many geopolitical issues. In 1996, the Qatari government launched Al Jazeera in a bid to consolidate soft power. One of the most watched news stations in the Arab world, Al Jazeera proved to be a wedge in the two’s bilateral relations as it routinely criticized Saudi Arabia’s ruler. The network also provided a platform for Islamist groups which are considered a threat to Saudi Arabia’s monarchy.

In 1996, a counter coup d’état attempt of Hamad bin Khalifa was foiled. Qatari intelligence indicated that the masterminds behind the attempt were government officials from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.[16]

Qatar’s Statement

Earlier, Qatari Foreign Minister told a similar conference that there were now “steps to end the Gulf crisis,” a few days after Jared Kushner, a senior adviser to US President Donald Trump, visited the region.

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nasser al-Sabah in an earlier statement on Kwait TV said “fruitful talks” have recently taken place when all sides “express their longing for Gulf and Arab unity.” Al-Sabah thanked Kushner for his efforts.

“We are deeply grateful for the efforts of the Government of Kuwait to close the gap on the Gulf crisis, and we appreciate the US efforts in this regard,” Prince Faisal tweeted earlier.


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