Gulf countries close to ending their disputes with Qatar  

UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash supports diplomatic efforts to end the Gulf crisis   
El ministro de Relaciones Exteriores de Emiratos, Anwar Gargash, apoya los esfuerzos diplomáticos para poner fin a la crisis del Golfo

AFP/KARIM SAHIB  -    -   UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash

In 2017 Saudi Arabia and its allies, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar, which they accuse of allegedly "supporting various terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at destabilising the region". Doha, for its part, described the measures as "unjustified and based on accusations and allegations that are not supported by facts".  

Among the measures taken by these countries were the cessation of all relations with the Qatari authorities, including the breaking off of diplomatic relations and the expulsion of diplomatic personnel, as well as the closure of all their ports, airports and border posts. For their part, Qatari citizens had two weeks to leave the territory of these countries.  

These disputes have been going on for a long time. In 2013, Doha also clashed with Abu Dhabi and Riyadh over the Egyptian labyrinth. While the Saudis and Emiratis supported and financed the coup d'état that ousted the Muslim Brothers from power, Qatar became a haven for Islamist leaders, a group classified as a terrorist group by some countries.   

In March 2014, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from Doha and Riyadh; however, the so-called "Riyadh agreement" brought diplomats back to Qatar, which is home to a major US military base and will host the World Cup in 2022.   

In 2015, these regional power struggles in the Gulf countries culminated in Qatar's expulsion from the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia, claiming its support for the Hutu rebel militias in the war in Yemen.

AP/JON GAMBRELL - L'émir du Qatar, Cheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani
AP/JON GAMBRELL - The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani

One of the elements that explain these disputes is the Qatari giant Al-Jazeera, a media whose information has given rise to continuous friction with its neighbouring countries. The incident led Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain to block internet access to several Qatari media. Qatar, which denies the accusations, has shown itself willing to negotiate, but refuses the capitulation demanded of it, which includes, among other things, the closure of the television channel.  

However, on Tuesday the United Arab Emirates stated its "support" for the negotiations under way, led by Saudi Arabia, to put an end to the diplomatic conflict that has been going on for three years between the two Gulf countries and their neighbour Qatar.  

The Saudi Arabian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Faisal bin Farhane, said on Saturday that his country was "in full coordination" with its allies in the negotiations aimed at reaching "a final agreement" to resolve the Gulf crisis.  

"The Emirates support the measures taken by Saudi Arabia on behalf of the four countries," wrote Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash.  

The country also "welcomes" the mediation of Kuwait and the United States in this matter, "to strengthen solidarity in the Arab Gulf", Gargash added on his Twitter account.  

Egypt also welcomed the ongoing efforts and Kuwait's mediation to resolve the crisis, according to the AFP agency.  

"We hope that these commendable efforts will lead to a comprehensive solution that addresses all the causes of the crisis," Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez said on Facebook.