US and Canada news on Arab-Israeli eye to end Gulf crisis

The Trump administration is hoping to capitalize on agreements to be signed this week between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to end the dispute, causing controversy in relations between Gulf countries.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that the United States hoped Saudi Arabia and its regional allies would end a more than three-year blockade on neighboring Qatar, which persisted despite repeated US calls for a resolution is. Pompeo said it was particularly important to build on the Arab-Israeli relationship to better counter the increasing malicious behavior from Iran.

“To keep our focus on this work and to close the door to raise the Iranian medal, this is the last time to find a solution to the Gulf Rift,” Pompeo said. “The Trump administration is eager to resolve this dispute and open Qatar’s air and land borders currently blocked by other Gulf states. I look forward to progress on this issue.”

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo makes a speech during the opening of Afghan peace talks in Doha, Qatar [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Pompeo made the remark at the opening of the US Department of Strategic Dialogue that Treasury Secretary Stephen Menuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and his Qatari counterparts were also present at the State Department. They all also noted that Qatar is currently hosting peace talks between the warring sides of Afghanistan.

Qatari’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said, “We are facing issues for the wider stability of not only our two nations but also the Middle East and neighboring regions.” “Despite regional challenges, including the ongoing blockade against us, our cooperation has steadily strengthened.”

The crisis has shattered the Gulf Cooperation Council, with Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the part of the UAE that targeted fellow member Qatar since 2017. Egypt also joined the boycott and all closed their airspace and border to Qatar.

Israeli delegation, Trump's ally, visits United Arab Emirates for talks

Israeli National Security Advisor Mir Ben-Shabbat, US President Senior Advisor Jared Kushner and UAE National Security Advisor Sheikh Tahnun bin Zayed Al Nahyan held a meeting in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. [File: Ministry of Presidential Affairs/WAM/Handout via Reuters]

The four countries cut ties with Qatar on June 5, 2017, following a summit in Saudi Arabia in which Gulf leaders met with President Donald Trump. They say the crisis stems from Qatar’s support for extremist groups in the region, an allegation denied by Doha.

The four nations have also pointed to Qatar’s close relationship with Iran, with which it shares a large-scale offshore gas field that provides the peninsular nation with its own funds. Amid the dispute, Qatar restored full diplomatic relations to Iran.


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