Saudi Arabia says it is looking for a way to end dispute with Qatar

The Gulf Rift dates back to 2017 when the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a blockade on Qatar.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said Riyadh was looking for a way to resolve the three-year rift with its Gulf neighbor Qatar.

Commenting on the dispute on Saturday, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said Saudi Arabia continued to find a way to end the blockade on Qatar, but added that it remained conditional on resolving security concerns.

The dispute dates back to 2017 when Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and non-GCC Egypt imposed a boycott on Qatar, severing diplomatic and transport ties and accusing it of supporting the ” terrorism”. Qatar denies all allegations against it.

Last month Prince Faisal said Saudi Arabia was determined to find a solution.

“We continue to be ready to engage with our Qatari brothers and we hope that they are equally committed to this engagement,” he said. “But we need to address the quartet’s legitimate security concerns and I think there is a way to that” with a solution “in the relatively near future”.

Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said last week that there were no winners in the Gulf crisis, adding that his country hoped it would end “at any time.” .

But Yousef al-Otaiba, the UAE’s ambassador to the United States, told Israeli media that he didn’t believe a resolution was imminent.

“I don’t think this will be resolved anytime soon just because I don’t think there has been any soul-searching,” al-Otaiba said.

Prince Faisal – speaking in a virtual interview on the sidelines of the summit of G20 leaders, which his country is hosting – also said the kingdom has “good friendly relations” with Turkey, which has been at odds with the kingdom since. years of foreign policy. .

The assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018 greatly exacerbated tensions.

For more than a year, some Saudi and Turkish traders have speculated that Saudi Arabia is enforcing an informal boycott of imports from Turkey.

Prince Faisal said he had not seen any figures that would support the existence of a boycott.

The Saudi minister said he is confident that the new administration of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden will pursue policies that promote regional stability and that any discussions with her will lead to close cooperation.

Riyadh is preparing to welcome a new US president who pledged, during an election campaign, to reassess its ties with Saudi Arabia, a state he called a “pariah” in 2019.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had close personal ties to US President Donald Trump and their relationship provided a buffer against international criticism of Riyadh’s human rights record after Khashoggi’s murder, Riyadh’s role in the war in Yemen; and the detention of women’s rights activists.

These areas can now become points of friction between Biden and Saudi Arabia, a major oil exporter and buyer of US arms.

Prince Faisal highlighted the 75-year history of “strong defense cooperation” between the two countries and said he expected it to continue.

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