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Talks with Qatar hinge on change in policies: Saudi Arabia

Qatari ruler said his nation is open to talks to end crisis as long as its sovereignty is respected


Qatar, Qatar map
Qatar map. Photo: Reuters

A senior official in the Saudi-led alliance said Qatari officials must revise their policies before direct talks to resolve the crisis could begin. While dialog is important, it should be based on a Qatari “review of actions,” Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Twitter. “Repeating the same positions deepens the crisis,” he said late on Saturday.

Qatari ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, in his first public comments since the crisis broke out in June, said his country is open to talks to end the standoff as long as its sovereignty is respected. He condemned the campaign by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and to isolate his country, saying it violates law.

Gargash’s comments dash the possibility of imminent talks even after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Friday that the U.S. is “satisfied with the effort” is making to counter He urged its neighbors “to consider as a sign of good faith lifting this land blockade.

The Saudi-led alliance severed its diplomatic and transport links with on June 5, accusing the country of supporting Sunni extremist groups and Iranian-backed Shiite militants. denies the charge and says the move was an attempt by to impose its will on smaller nations in the Gulf.