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Foreign ministers of Arab states boycotting Qatar discuss dispute during New York talks

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said a political solution to the dispute can be reached, on condition that Qatar complies with the principles and demands of Egypt, Bahrain, the UAE and Saudi Arabia

Ahram Online , Tuesday 19 Sep 2017
Monday's meeting between foreign ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain in New York, September 18, 2017 (Photo: Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
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The foreign ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain agreed during talks in New York on Monday that they welcome a political resolution to the festering three-month row with Qatar, on condition that the Gulf state complies with the demands and principles outlined by the quartet of Arab nations.

"We discussed recent developments in the dispute with Qatar," Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told reporters following the talks, which were held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly at the headquarters of the Egyptian mission to the UN.

"We affirmed our readiness for a political solution for the crisis, should Qatar abide by the 13 demands and six principles adopted earlier," Shoukry said on Monday.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE severed diplomatic and transport links with Doha on 5 June, accusing the oil-rich state of supporting terrorism and meddling in their internal affairs, sparking the region's worst diplomatic dispute in years.

Doha denies the charges levelled against it.

The four Arab nations demand that Doha comply with six principles, including a commitment to combating terrorism and ending what they describe as acts of incitement and interference in the internal affairs of other Arab countries.

They also demand that the Gulf monarchy abide by a list of 13 demands for Qatar, which include ending its support for the Muslim Brotherhood group, shutting down the Doha-based Al-Jazeera news channel, closing a Turkish military base and downgrading its ties with Iran.

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani said last week in Berlin that his country is ready to sit at the negotiating table to try to resolve the dispute with its Gulf Arab neighbours.

"If this is true ... this is what the four countries have demanded; we are aiming for normal relations with Qatar, should it cease supporting and financing terrorism, interference in the internal affairs of the four countries and undermining their stability," Shoukry said.

Shoukry hailed efforts by the leader of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, to mediate the diplomatic crisis with Doha.

"We have every confidence in any efforts [by Al-Sabah]," Shoukry said.

Following talks with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Monday that resolving the row with Qatar is "in Doha's hands", Saudi Arabia's state-run press agency SPA said.

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