Bahrain sees “no glimmer of hope” to end the Qatar crisis soon

RIYADH (Reuters) – Bahrain sees no resolution in sight in a diplomatic row between Qatar and its neighbors, which severed diplomatic and trade relations with the small Arab state of the Gulf almost a year ago.

PHOTO OF THE ARCHIVE: An aerial view of the diplomatic area of ​​Doha March 21, 2013. REUTERS / Fadi Al-Assaad / File photo

"The information in our hands today does not indicate any ray of hope for a solution now, since the matter does not happen suddenly, "Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheik Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa told the Alsharq Alawsat newspaper on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt cut trade and travel relations with Qatar last June, claiming that they supported Iran and supported terrorism. Qatar denies this and says the boycott is an attempt to affect its sovereignty and curb its support for reform.

After initially halting Qatar's imports and triggering the withdrawal of billions of dollars from its banks by depositors from the four states, the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas quickly developed new trade routes and deployed tens of thousands of millions of dollars of your sovereign wealth fund to protect your national lenders.

The dispute has evaded the mediation efforts of Kuwait and Washington, which has strong alliances with both sides and fears that the division between the Sunni Muslim allies of the United States. UU It could benefit Iran in a decades-long struggle for influence in the Middle East.

PHOTO OF THE ARCHIVE: Bahrain's Foreign Minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, awaits a meeting with John Kerry (unseen) at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah on September 11, 2014. REUTERS / Brendan Smialowski / Pool

said that Qatar was prolonging the crisis by taking its case to the Western allies, instead of facing it within the Arab Gulf bloc.

"We had been waiting since the beginning of the crisis with Qatar that the emir of Qatar would go to Arabia (Arabia) but this did not happen," he told the pan-Arab newspaper.

Saudi and UAE officials have said that Doha still has to meet 13 demands made by the four states, including the closure of the state-funded Al Jazeera television station and the reduction of ties with Iran.

United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash said on Twitter last week that Qatar had not treated these demands with caution: "Perhaps a year's boycott prompts new thinking and a more prudent approach to Doha. "

Report by Stephen Kalin; Edition by Ghaida Ghantous and Alexander Smith

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