UAE official says Qatar crisis won’t end soon

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Dubai, July 14 (IANS) The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) State Minister for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash on Friday said the Qatar crisis, which pits the Arab quartet and Qatar, would not end soon.

Gargash, who regularly comments on the Qatar crisis to his 437,000 followers on Twitter, said the Arab bloc, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain, and Qatar were “heading into the long estrangement”, Xinhua news agency reported.

Because the quartet was “a long way from political solution linked to Qatar to change its orientation”, he said it would mean that “we have to find a different pattern of relationship”.

The Arab bloc cut ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting “extremism and terrorism,” an allegation which Qatar denied.

The bloc also issued a land, sea and air embargo on Qatari planes and ships.

On a possible exclusion of Qatar from the six member states forming Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the UAE minister pointed out that “Although we may lose the confused and awkward neighbour … we gain clarity and transparency.”

The GCC members Kuwait and Oman have not cut ties with Qatar. Kuwait has been playing the role as a regional mediator since the rift erupted which marks the worst crisis in the GCC history since Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

On Thursday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson left Qatar with no breakthrough reported in resolving the month-long dispute.

–IANS

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