Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said on Friday a resolution to a dispute with Qatar seemed “within reach” after Kuwait announced progress towards ending the row.
The United States and Kuwait have worked to end the dispute, during which Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have imposed a diplomatic, trade and travel embargo on Qatar since mid-2017 over its support and financing of terrorism.
“We have made significant progress in the last few days thanks to the continuing efforts of Kuwait but also thanks to strong support from (US) President (Donald) Trump,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud told a Rome conference via videolink.
“We hope this progress can lead to a final agreement which looks within reach and I can say I am somewhat optimistic that we are close to finalizing an agreement between all the nations in the dispute.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking remotely at a Bahrain summit on Friday, said the United States was “very hopeful” that the row would be resolved.
Kuwait’s foreign minister, Sheikh Ahmad Nasser al-Sabah, said earlier on Friday that fruitful discussion had taken place recently “in which all sides expressed their keenness for Gulf and Arab unity and stability, and to reach a final agreement that realizes lasting solidarity”.
In a Twitter post, Qatar’s foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, welcomed the Kuwaiti statement as “an imperative step” towards resolving the rift.
Qatar had been set 13 demands, ranging from closing Al Jazeera television and shuttering a Turkish base to cutting links to the Muslim Brotherhood and downgrading ties with Iran.