Qatar in talks with Saudi, Gulf crisis 'no longer in stalemate,' says Qatar foreign minister
Qatar and Saudi Arabia have held talks that could signal the end of the Gulf diplomatic crisis, Qatar's foreign minister indicated on Friday.
Speaking at a foreign policy conference in Rome, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani expressed hopes for "progress" in resolving the Gulf crisis, saying Riyadh and Doha have "moved rom a stalemate".
"We have moved from a stalemate to some progress where ... some talks took place between us and specifically Saudi," the Qatari foreign minister was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera at the MED 2019 conference.
"We hope that these talks will lead to our progress where we can see an end for the crisis."
He added that officials from both states had held talks on several occasions, however refused to confirm recent reports that he had personally travelled to Riyadh to negotiate the blockade's end.
The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt joined Saudi Arabia in the boycott.
Priot to the Sheikh Mohammed's remarks on Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the foreign minister had visited Riyadh in October in a bid to end the standoff. The top Qatari diplomat reportedly met Saudi officials and made an offer to resolve the rift.
Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia's King Salman invited Qatar's emir to a summit meeting next week of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Riyadh. Kuwaiti Prime Minister Khaled Al-Sabah said on Sunday that the forthcoming GCC summit would be “an extremely important step forward to Gulf reconciliation”.
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