Anwar Gargash: atmosphere in Gulf is to end GCC dispute

UAE official says efforts are directed at ending the crisis and to find ways to guarantee Doha's commitment to an agreement

FILE PHOTO: Minister of State for Foreign Affairs for the United Arab Emirates, Anwar Gargash, speaks at an event at Chatham House in London, Britain July 17, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File Photo

There is a prevailing atmosphere in the region to solve the GCC crisis with possible talks on the cards to try to end the three-year rift between Qatar and its neighbours, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash said.

"The political and social atmosphere in the Gulf is looking to end the Qatar crisis and for the best method to guarantee Doha's commitment to any agreement that brings good for the region," he said on Twitter.

"But, Qatari media seems adamant on undermining any agreement."

He described this as "a strange and difficult phenomenon to explain".

Dr Gargash did not specify which media outlets he was referring to but there has been significant speculation in Doha-based outlets in recent days about the content of a Gulf summit set for next month that is expected to look at ways to end the crisis.

Kuwait announced last week that the six-member Gulf Co-operation Council will meet on January 5 in Saudi Arabia, which has expressed its willingness to resolve the rift.

The bloc brings together the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.

In Moscow with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday, Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed Al Thani said there had been a breakthrough in talks for reconciliation in recent weeks and that the crisis could be solved through dialogue.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar in 2017, accusing Doha of support for extremists, its ties to Iran and interfering in the internal affairs of its neighbours.

This month, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said a resolution of the Gulf diplomatic crisis was in sight, with all governments involved "on board" and a final agreement expected soon.

Egypt and the UAE have since given their public support to the negotiations.

The potential reconciliation comes as the region beings to look ahead at the incoming US administration of president-elect Joe Biden.

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