UAE ambassador to US sees ‘seeds of progress’ on Gulf crisis

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The United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to Washington said there were “seeds of progress” in resolving a Gulf crisis that began in 2017 and a commitment to “tone things down” as the parties work for a solution to end the rift with neighboring Qatar.

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Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba made the comments on Tuesday to a US think tank.

The crisis erupted when Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt cut all diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar in June 2017.

“I think there’s definitely progress or at least there’s seeds of progress,” Otaiba told the Hudson Institute via videolink in Abu Dhabi’s most concrete remarks since Kuwait on Friday announced movement towards a resolution.

“There’s a lot of commitments .. to kind of tone things down, to stand down. If that holds I think it is promising. I think there is a chance that you can at least begin a process of deconflicting,” Otaiba said, adding that time would tell whether this would hold to enable “some kind of concept of a solution”.

Qatar has also been more cautious in public remarks, with its foreign minister voicing hope that things would move in the right direction.

Last week, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said there has been “significant progress” in resolving the Gulf crisis that began in 2017.

“We have seen significant progress in the last few weeks, which means we are now hopeful we can reach a final conclusion very soon that will be satisfactory to all parties,” Prince Faisal said, at speaking at the International Institute for Security Studies Manama Conference on Saturday.

Read more:

‘Significant progress’ made to resolving Gulf crisis: Saudi FM Prince Faisal

UAE minister: Gulf has changed and cannot go back to what it was before Qatar crisis

Saudi Arabia optimistic on finalizing deal to end Gulf rift soon: FM

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