Trump administration seeking to end Qatar blockade, resolve rift: Pompeo

Trump administration seeking to end Qatar blockade, resolve rift: Pompeo
Speaking in a new round of a strategic dialogue between the United States and Qatar, Pompeo said the Trump administration is eager to see the Gulf dispute resolved.
2 min read
15 September, 2020
The US-Qatar strategic dialogue started in 2018. [Getty]
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday called on blockading Gulf countries to find a solution to their rift with Doha and said the Washington would see to reopen Qatar's borders.

Speaking at a live-streamed State Department meeting with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Pompeo said Gulf countries should be united on countering Iranian activity in the Middle East.

"It's past time to find a solution to the Gulf rift. The Trump administration is eager to see this dispute resolved and to reopen Qatar's air and land borders currently blocked by other Gulf states," Pompeo said during the meeting, the third US-Qatar dialogue of its kind. 

"I look forward to progress on this issue," Pompeo added.

The US-Qatar strategic dialogue started in 2018, when a first round of dialogue ended with a US announcement of support for Qatar in the face of a Saudi-led blockade.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut all ties with Doha in 2017, accusing it of backing "terrorists" and being too close to Iran - charges Qatar strongly denies.

In July Qatar won a ruling at the International Court of Justice regarding airspace restrictions imposed by the blockading countries.

Read also: GCC crisis explained: Why is Qatar under blockade by Saudi Arabia and its allies?

The Qatari official thanked the US for its support of a Kuwaiti mediation to resolve the blockade.

"Qatar foreign policy continues to represent peace, stability, and prosperity elements that reflects our national values.  Due to these values, Qatar not only stands firm in the face of the blockade, but indeed stronger having developed its relation with the global community to unprecedented levels," Al-Thani said.

The State Department's top diplomat for the Middle East, David Schenker, last week hinted at progress in talks to resolve the crisis "within weeks", citing signs of "flexibility" in negotiations.

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