‘Some progress’ made in mending ties with Saudi Arabia: Qatar FM
Qatar says there has been “some progress” in talks with Saudi Arabia on healing their two-year rift, according to the Doha-based Al Jazeera broadcaster.
"In recent weeks, we have moved from a stalemate to some progress where some talks took place between us and, specifically, Saudi," Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said on Friday.
"We hope these talks will lead to progress where we can see an end (to) the crisis," he told the Mediterranean Dialogues forum in Rome.
The Qatari minister also thanked Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad Al-Sabah for his "continuous efforts and commitment" to mediate the talks.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and the tiny country of Bahrain cut off diplomatic ties with Doha and imposed an air, land, and sea blockade on Qatar in 2017, after officially accusing the country of “sponsoring terrorism.” Doha denies the allegation.
The quartet urged the Qatari government to comply with a list of demands that included severing ties with Iran and closing a Turkish military base in Qatar or face sanctions. Doha flatly rejected the demands and said it was being targeted because of the independent policies that it pursued.
The talks took place shortly after Saudi King Salman invited Qatar's emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Riyadh on December 10, in a sign of reduced animosity between the two sides.
Signs of a thaw have emerged despite Doha's refusal to accept the boycotting countries’ demands.
This is while Qatari Emir has said his country has overcome the Saudi-led economic blockade and achieved high economic goals.
It seems that Riyadh has changed its tone amid its failure both in the economic boycott of Qatar and in the military campaign against Yemen.
Saudi Arabia started the war on Yemen in March 2015 in a bid to reinstall a former regime and eliminate the Ansarullah movement. Four years later, and despite massive purchases of advanced American weaponry, Saudi Arabia and its allies are bogged down.