Saudi FM Softens Tone on Qatar Amid Persian Gulf Tensions

Saudi FM Softens Tone on Qatar Amid Persian Gulf Tensions
Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:09:47

The Riyadh regime seems to have softened its stance towards Doha amid severe diplomatic tensions between the two sides, with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir calling Qatar an “ally” in his latest remarks.

Jubeir told journalists in London on Friday that his country had no intention of harming the Qatari people.

He further described Qatar an “ally” in the six-member [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

In early June, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates launched a coordinated campaign to isolate Qatar, which Doha believes emanate from its independent foreign policy.

The four states cut their diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of destabilizing the region with its support for terrorism, an allegation rejected by the Qatari government. A number of other countries followed suit to broke off or downgrade relations with the monarchy.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Jubeir said, “Enough is enough, and our Qatari brothers cannot continue to fund extremism and terrorize and incite and use hostile media and interfere with the affairs of other countries and still remain in good standing.”

He also noted that Riyadh, Manama, Cairo and Abu Dhabi were drawing up “a list of grievances that need to be addressed and that the Qataris need to fix,” stressing that the list did not include “demands.”

“We are working on those with our Bahraini, Emirati and Egyptian partners in order to compile this list and present it to the Qataris, and I think it will be done fairly soon,” he said.

The top Saudi diplomat further emphasized that he expected a positive response from Doha that would make the region a “better place.”

The softened tone came after Qatar announced the signing of a $12-billion deal to buy F-15 fighter jets from the United States.

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