Officials from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt praised recent efforts to end the three-year blockade of Gulf neighbour Qatar amid signs the siege may soon end.
The UAE appreciates efforts by Kuwait and the United States to strengthen Gulf Arab unity, a senior Emirati official said on Tuesday in a reference to the blockade of Qatar.
Kuwait and Saudi Arabia said on Friday that progress had been made towards resolving the dispute that has seen Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt sever diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Qatar since mid-2017.
In the first public comment by the UAE on the recent developments, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash also praised Riyadh’s “good endeavours on behalf of the four states”, adding the Emirates looked forward to a “successful” Gulf Arab summit, which set to take place this month.
“The UAE appreciates the efforts of sisterly Kuwait and the American endeavors towards strengthening solidarity in the Arab Gulf,” Gargash posted on Twitter.
تثمن الإمارات جهود الكويت الشقيقة والمساعي الأمريكية نحو تعزيز التضامن في الخليج العربي، وتدعم المساعي السعودية الخيرة وبالنيابة عن الدول الاربع، وتؤكد على أن علاقات مجلس التعاون مع مصر الشقيقة ركن أساسي في المحافظة على الأمن العربي وإستقرار المنطقة، وتتطلع إلى قمة خليجية ناجحة.
— د. أنور قرقاش (@AnwarGargash) December 8, 2020
An Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement on Tuesday that Cairo hoped the efforts would result in a “comprehensive solution that addresses all causes behind the crisis and guarantees serious and strict commitment”.
Qatar’s emir has not attended the annual summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) since 2017 although his prime minister was present at last year’s gathering, which made no public mention of the dispute.
The foreign ministers of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have not provided specific details on the recent progress, but a source in Washington told Reuters news agency a tentative deal was reached by the parties and it could be signed in a few weeks.
Analysts have said any breakthrough would likely only extend to ties between Riyadh and Doha excluding Abu Dhabi, which has been the most vocal critic of Qatar since the crisis began.
However, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said on Saturday a resolution was in sight with all nations involved “on board” and a final agreement expected soon.
All countries involved are US allies. Qatar hosts the region’s largest US military base, Bahrain is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, and Saudi Arabia and the UAE host US troops.
The boycotting nations accuse Qatar of carrying out an independent foreign policy and issued 13 demands including easing ties with regional rival Iran, closing down a Turkish military base in the Gulf state, and shutting Al Jazeera Media Network.
Doha has vowed to maintain its policies and balked at fulfilling any demands that undermine its sovereignty.