Foreign Minister: Qatar Sees Positive Stance in Talks to Mend UAE Ties

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Qatar has held several rounds of talks with the United Arab Emirates to mend fences following an agreement to end an inter-Arab feud and there is a “positive vision” to overcome differences, the Qatari foreign minister said.

Saudi Arabia in January announced a deal to end the row in which the kingdom, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed all ties with Qatar in 2017 over accusations it supports terrorism — a broad allusion to Islamist movements — a charge that it denies.

Diplomats and regional sources have said Riyadh and Cairo were moving faster than the UAE and Bahrain to rebuild the relationship with Doha.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani told U.K.-based Al Araby television in an interview aired on Friday that it was natural for talks to have different paces.

He said there has been positive progress in talks with Saudi Arabia, which Qatar’s emir visited recently, and with Egypt, where Sheikh Mohammed held talks last week. He said Qatar was discussing economic cooperation with both countries.

“With the UAE, the committees held several meetings … and we sensed from the working teams a positive vision to overcome differences,” the minister said. He said the last round was held a few weeks ago and he was also in touch with Emirati officials.

“It could take some time to move past this difficult period,” he added.

The UAE and Egypt oppose Qatari support for Islamist groups, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, outlawed by all four states.

Asked whether the topic of the Brotherhood had been discussed with Egypt, Sheikh Mohammed said: “This file was not brought up as far as I know.”

“We do not have many outstanding issues with Egypt and there is positive progress,” he said without elaborating, while noting coordination between the two countries to secure a cease-fire brokered by Egypt in the Gaza Strip.

Source: Voice of America