Qatar's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani has said he hopes for "progress" in the efforts to resolve the Gulf diplomatic crisis following talks with Saudi Arabia, adding that the parties have "moved from a stalemate" in the two-year dispute, Al Jazeera reported.
"We have moved from a stalemate to some progress where ... some talks took place between us and specifically Saudi," the Qatari foreign minister said at the MED 2019 conference.
"We hope that these talks will lead to our progress where we can see an end for the crisis."
He added that several meetings had taken place between officials of both countries in different places, refusing to confirm reports that he has recently visited the Saudi capital, Riyadh, for talks.
The Wall Street Journal had previously reported that the foreign minister had made the unannounced visit in October. There, he met senior Saudi officials and made an offer to end the regional rift, an Arab official told the newspaper. It was the highest-level visit by a Qatari official to the kingdom since May when Qatar's prime minister attended an Arab summit in Mecca.
Saudi King Salman also recently sent a "written message" inviting Qatar's emir to an annual meeting of the Gulf regional bloc, which will be held in Riyadh next week. The 40th session of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit is scheduled to take place on December 10. The GCC is composed of Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait.
A Qatari delegation headed by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi represented the country at last year's GCC summit, which was also held in Riyadh.
In another sign of possible de-escalation, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, in a last-minute about-face in November, reversed their decision to boycott the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup in Doha.
Source: Al Jazeera
Image Source: Al Jazeera/Andreas Gebert-Reuters
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