Tabnak – As the diplomatic spat between Qatar and other GCC countries is still far from resolved, Doha officials have expressed desire to engage in a serious dialogue with Saudi Arabia and its allies. At the same time, they have made it clear that having positive relations with Iran is a priority in the Qatar’s foreign policy.
According to Press TV, The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry says Qatar is prepared to enter negotiations aimed at solving the diplomatic row with Arab countries as Bahrain’s central bank has issued orders freezing assets and bank accounts of Qatar-linked entities.
Over the past week, Kuwait has been playing the role of mediator between Qatar and the other Arab countries. "(Kuwait) affirms the readiness of the brothers in Qatar to understand the reality of the qualms and concerns of their brothers and to heed the noble endeavors to enhance security and stability," said Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Qatar's foreign minister has expressed his country's willingness to have constructive relations with Iran. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani made the remarks in an interview with RT Arabic on Saturday during a visit to Moscow. "As far as our relations with Iran are concerned, everyone wants positive relations with Iran. Iran is a neighbor," Sheikh Mohammed said.
The Qatari foreign minister said, "The strategic choice of all countries is to maintain dialog with Iran", adding that "we, in the state of Qatar, support these efforts."
It came after the Qatari emir's reported remarks on Iran’s stabilizing role in the region sparked a diplomatic storm with Saudi Arabia and its allies even though Doha later said its state media which published the statements had been hacked.
The case of close relations with Iran aside, in their apparent bid to secure US support and that of Israel, Saudi Arabia and its allies have cited Qatar's links with Hamas and accused it of supporting terrorism.
However, as the rift continues between the two groups of Arab states, discussions have been raised about the future regional and international consequences of the current trend. In this vein, Qatari Finance Minister Ali Shareef Al Emadi stressed that Doha won't be the sole loser in the ongoing diplomatic spat.
"A lot of people think we're the only ones to lose in this... if we're going to lose a dollar, they will lose a dollar also," he said in reference to Gulf Cooperation Council nations. Speaking to CNBC, the minister also called the political rift "very unfortunate" as it inconvenienced human lives.
At the same time, Financial Times reports that Qatar’s diplomatic showdown with its Arab neighbours has highlighted the risks associated with growing UK dependence on imported gas — and intensified calls from fracking supporters for Britain’s shale resources to be developed.
Almost 30 per cent of UK gas imports come from Qatar, which is facing disruption to trade and transportation. The dispute is not seen as an immediate threat to UK gas supplies as Britain heads into the summer months, when energy demand is lowest. However, analysts say instability in the Middle East adds to factors which, taken together, raise long-term questions over UK energy security.
It should be noted that Qatar has a history of diplomatic disputes with other Persian Gulf Arab countries. In 2014, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain temporarily recalled their ambassadors from Doha over what they said to be Qatar’s support for Muslim Brotherhood.
However, it seems that this time the situation is much more serious. The fact has led some observers to express concerns over the potential that the situation goes out of hand, leading to an actual confrontation in the already-destabilized Middle East.