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December 5, 2020

Saudia Arabia hints at end to Qatar boycott

Top Story

December 5, 2020

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister has expressed optimism that the three-year boycott of Qatar by four Arab nations, including the kingdom, may be nearing an end, foreign media reported. “We’ve made significant progress in the last few days,” Prince Faisal bin Farhan said, speaking to Italy’s annual Mediterranean Dialogues on Friday. “We hope that this progress can lead to a final agreement which looks in reach, and I can say that I am somewhat optimistic that we are close to finalising an agreement between all the nations in the dispute to come to a resolution that we think will be satisfactory to all,” the prince said.

However, the other three nations boycotting Qatar – Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates – did not immediately acknowledge any progress. More than a year ago, a similar hope for an end to the dispute quickly faded.

But Prince Faisal’s remarks did come just hours after the top diplomat from mediator nation Kuwait described the ongoing talks over the crisis as “constructive and fruitful”.

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nasser al-Sabah said on Friday there was progress in resolving the dispute but stopped short of announcing any breakthrough in the dispute.