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Russia urges dialogue to solve Gulf crisis

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webfact    24,351

Russia urges dialogue to solve Gulf crisis

By Stephen Kalin

 

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Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) meets with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia September 10, 2017. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

 

JEDDAH (Reuters) - Arab countries and Qatar should enter into direct talks to solve a diplomatic dispute, Russia's foreign minister said on a trip to Saudi Arabia on Sunday, urging all parties to restore regional unity.

 

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt severed ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups - a charge it denies.

 

"We have confirmed our position (that we are) in favour of settling the disagreements by means of negotiations, by directly expressing concerns and achieving solutions which would take into account the concerns and the interests of all parties," the minister, Sergei Lavrov, told a news conference in Jeddah.

 

"We are interested in all those mediatory efforts that are currently being made producing results and the unity of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) being restored," he added.

 

Kuwait and the United States have been mediating to reach a breakthrough in the three-month long crisis that has put the whole region on edge, and prompted Turkey to send troops to the wealthy Gulf state in a sign of support.

 

Last week, Saudi Arabia suspended any dialogue with Qatar, accusing it of "distorting facts", just after a report of a phone call between the leaders of both countries suggested a breakthrough in the Gulf dispute.

 

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told the news conference that Qatar needed to show seriousness in finding a solution to the crisis.

 

"We want clarity in the Qatari position, we want seriousness in finding a solution to this crisis that leads to the implementation of principles which all countries support: no supporting terrorism, no welcoming unwanted guests, no spreading hate, no intervention in others' affairs," Jubeir said.

 

The two ministers also discussed the planned de-escalation zones in Syria and unification of the Syrian opposition.

"The kingdom supports the creation of de-escalation zones and looks forward to starting a political process that will end the Syrian crisis," Jubeir said.

 

President Bashar al-Assad's negotiators have not met directly with the opposition because there is no unified delegation from the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) and two other groups, known as the Cairo and Moscow platforms, all claim to represent the opposition.

 

(Additional reporting by Ahmed Tolba in Cairo and Maria Kiselyova in Moscow, Writing by Sylvia Westall and Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2017-09-11

 

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coulson    869

Saudi doesn't want talks. Saudi wants the Emir out. Turkish military presence prevents it. It's a stalemate that will go on for years until those who imposed sanctions turn a new page. Just passed through and it's as if nothing ever happened. Major projects suffered a short lived disruption and re shuffle of supply chain or major UAE based contractors. That storm has been weathered and due to the unified commitment if anything things will run smoother for 2022. Overwhelming support for the Emir.

1505140732642.jpg

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ilostmypassword    6,780

Maybe this will improve Iranian-Saudi relations. After all, Iran should feel very grateful to the Saudis for helping it re-establish full diplomatic relations with Qatar and giving a boost to its economy.

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Morch    6,378
14 minutes ago, coulson said:

Saudi doesn't want talks. Saudi wants the Emir out. Turkish military presence prevents it. It's a stalemate that will go on for years until those who imposed sanctions turn a new page. Just passed through and it's as if nothing ever happened. Major projects suffered a short lived disruption and re shuffle of supply chain or major UAE based contractors. That storm has been weathered and due to the unified commitment if anything things will run smoother for 2022. Overwhelming support for the Emir.

1505140732642.jpg

 

There were talks, one way or another, since day one of this conflagration. And somewhere, they still go on. You can take it to the bank.  As for SA not wanting talks, that's probably incorrect, as the OP suggests. The two steps forward one step backwards is just how things are done.

 

I have no doubt that SA would prefer another Emir, one more receptive to accept it as a regional leader etc. That said, I doubt that anyone sees such an eventuality being achieved by current negotiations. So the Saudies will put up with the Emir, at least until the next round. Turkish military presence, such as it is, got little to do with it.

 

While I concur that the Qataris seem to support the Emir (was gifted the T-shirt by an enthusiastic local on a recent layover :smile:), the economic and financial effects aren't quite as negligible (for example, this  report). As said on previous topics, not a bad time for flights and shopping :wink:.

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coulson    869
 

There were talks, one way or another, since day one of this conflagration. And somewhere, they still go on. You can take it to the bank.  As for SA not wanting talks, that's probably incorrect, as the OP suggests. The two steps forward one step backwards is just how things are done.

 

I have no doubt that SA would prefer another Emir, one more receptive to accept it as a regional leader etc. That said, I doubt that anyone sees such an eventuality being achieved by current negotiations. So the Saudies will put up with the Emir, at least until the next round. Turkish military presence, such as it is, got little to do with it.

 

While I concur that the Qataris seem to support the Emir (was gifted the T-shirt by an enthusiastic local on a recent layover :smile:), the economic and financial effects aren't quite as negligible (for example, this  report). As said on previous topics, not a bad time for flights and shopping :wink:.

 

Yes talks via mediators fair enough. Direct talks will not happen due to the Saudi demands. They will only have direct talks when Saudi rationalise the ridiculous goalposts.

 

I disagree on the Turkish military presence. The Attiya family still has wide local influence and regional draw. There was initial rumours of a coup once the blockade started and that may have been what Saudi initially wanted. Having substantial Turkish military present in full support of the current ruling family will help prevent that.

 

https://www.google.ie/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/21/qatar-crisis-may-be-rooted-in-old-family-rivalries

 

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Morch    6,378
8 minutes ago, coulson said:

 


Talks amongst mediators fair enough. Direct talks will not happen due to the Saudi demands. They will only have direct talks when Saudi changes the goalposts.

I disagree on the Turkish military presence. The Attiya family still has wide local influence and regional draw. There was initial rumours of a coup once the blockade started and that may have been what Saudi initially wanted. Having substantial Turkish military present in full support of the current ruling family is not what Saudi wants.

https://www.google.ie/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/21/qatar-crisis-may-be-rooted-in-old-family-rivalries

 

 

The OP does suggest that direct talks were carried out. That they came to naught or that they ended up with yet another fight over who said what, when and how is pretty much routine. As for changing the goalposts, this already happened - the original set of demands was morphed into more ambiguous terms a while back.

 

As far as I'm aware, the Turkish military presence is still insignificant. If anything, it is the US military presence, and the US remaining on course as far as regional policy goes (regardless of Trump's initial statements) that pulled the plug on Saudi designs (if there were actually any concrete ones). Not that the Turkish presence doesn't complicate things for the Saudis, but not a deciding factor.

 

Many posts dwell on expressions of public support for the current Emir. The article linked, though, revolves around his old man. Rather amusing.

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coulson    869
 
The OP does suggest that direct talks were carried out. That they came to naught or that they ended up with yet another fight over who said what, when and how is pretty much routine. As for changing the goalposts, this already happened - the original set of demands was morphed into more ambiguous terms a while back.
 
As far as I'm aware, the Turkish military presence is still insignificant. If anything, it is the US military presence, and the US remaining on course as far as regional policy goes (regardless of Trump's initial statements) that pulled the plug on Saudi designs (if there were actually any concrete ones). Not that the Turkish presence doesn't complicate things for the Saudis, but not a deciding factor.
 
Many posts dwell on expressions of public support for the current Emir. The article linked, though, revolves around his old man. Rather amusing.


Morch I genuinely agree with your opinions about the region, and on this subject. But let's face it talks only happened indirectly, whether through international mediators or local families. The standpoint of the ruling Emir and Saudi King remains in a stalemate and could never go through direct talks as you suggested (OP never suggested it either)

I believe that Saudi thought this was a Golden ticket to rein in the neighbours like an old thorn in their side. And I believe it has backfired to the benefit of Qatar both regionally and Internationally.

As for the GCC, where have Oman, Bahrain, UAE or Kuwait vehemently upheld their position on the matter recently? Not heard a peep.

The common gauge of the situation if you look at India's standpoint is an interesting one considering it has a vast investment in Qatar's ex pat population.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/mobi/news/comment/an-ill-conceived-feud/428444.html

It was supposed to be a total mess, but it just isn't.... and it's never going to be resolved locally. Qatar I believe will learn to thrive with it's alternate trade arrangements and Saudi will have to live with it's little neighbour punching above it's weight. In the long run who knows.

Btw, the previous posts link was a mistake, but the story of Qatar's royal history indeed amusing. At least the old man picked a nice *commoner* (or maybe he just didn't like the Saudi or UAE women)

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Rancid    2,616

Bloody Russians always wanting dialogue and talks, just send in Chuck Norris....

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Morch    6,378
2 hours ago, coulson said:

 


Morch I genuinely agree with your opinions about the region, and on this subject. But let's face it talks only happened indirectly, whether through international mediators or local families. The standpoint of the ruling Emir and Saudi King remains in a stalemate and could never go through direct talks as you suggested (OP never suggested it either)

I believe that Saudi thought this was a Golden ticket to rein in the neighbours like an old thorn in their side. And I believe it has backfired to the benefit of Qatar both regionally and Internationally.

As for the GCC, where have Oman, Bahrain, UAE or Kuwait vehemently upheld their position on the matter recently? Not heard a peep.

The common gauge of the situation if you look at India's standpoint is an interesting one considering it has a vast investment in Qatar's ex pat population.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/mobi/news/comment/an-ill-conceived-feud/428444.html

It was supposed to be a total mess, but it just isn't.... and it's never going to be resolved locally. Qatar I believe will learn to thrive with it's alternate trade arrangements and Saudi will have to live with it's little neighbour punching above it's weight. In the long run who knows.

Btw, the previous posts link was a mistake, but the story of Qatar's royal history indeed amusing. At least the old man picked a nice *commoner* (or maybe he just didn't like the Saudi or UAE women)

 

 

The OP does mention direct talks between respective leaders (was covered in greater detail by other sources):

 

Quote

Last week, Saudi Arabia suspended any dialogue with Qatar, accusing it of "distorting facts", just after a report of a phone call between the leaders of both countries suggested a breakthrough in the Gulf dispute.

 

But direct talks do not necessarily need to involve leaders, only representatives. That mediators are involved is another given. No contradiction. Perhaps what you meant was the absence of direct and public negotiations? If so, correct, none of that - sides aren't quite there yet, and that's not how things are done anyway. 

 

That events did not unfold quite as Saudi Arabia intended is true. The same cannot be said about Qatar being in the clear or with regard to assertions that it already weathered the storm. Too soon to judge, and way too much interest laden reports around.

 

Saudi Arabia failed to garner much support for its moves against Qatar. Reactions, both regionally and internationally,  were mostly either negative or cautious. With regard to GCC members - Oman and Kuwait weren't quite on-board with the Saudi-led move, while the UAE showed firm support. I believe that the recent "silence" (actually, more like story is less reported on in media) stems from the former parties being involved in mediation efforts (and bearing in mind how things fell apart with demands being publicized), while the latter suffered a lose of credibility and face (for example, information released from it's Ambassador to the US email). Further, US foreign policy message back on track (after Trump's early statements), probably caused a re-assessment of the situation. On the other hand, being in the lead, Saudi Arabia can't simply opt out.

 

Doubtful that The Tribune, and even more so, Hasan Suroor can be said to accurately represent India's standpoint. Like most countries not directly involved, but having an economic stake, India isn't too thrilled with anything that implies instability in the Gulf. Nothing new there.

 

It was supposed to be a mess, and it is - just not the way intended. As for "never going to be resolved locally", depends on the depth and scope referred to by "resolved". Doubt anyone is under any illusion that anything but a temporary arrangement is possible, or that brotherly love is in the cards. But then again, also improbable that the current state of affairs would be sustained long term. Was actually quite surprised they got to the phone call stage this early in the game.

 

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