Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 7 December 2019

UAE's Anwar Gargash says diplomatic rift with Qatar will continue in 2019

He also said that a Saudi Arabian-Egyptian axis will gain strength over rivals

Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs for the United Arab Emirates. REUTERS 
Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs for the United Arab Emirates. REUTERS 

Gulf states will likely maintain a diplomatic standoff with Qatar in 2019, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash said on Tuesday.

Dr Gargash said that a détente with Doha would hinge on a change in the country’s policies, which he suggests is not likely in the coming year.

"In my estimation, the boycott of Qatar will continue in 2019 because it’s linked to necessary changes in Doha’s destructive tendencies," Mr Gargash said in a Twitter post. "Qatar will continue to fail to combat the action taken against them, despite its excessive cost."

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic, economic and transport ties with Qatar in summer 2017, accusing the tiny Gulf peninsula of interfering in their domestic affairs and supporting terrorism.

Commenting on the conflict in Yemen, he said that the Arab coalition is likely to assume a “better position,” now that Houthi rebels are undermined politically.

“The road is still difficult and Yemen’s issues must pave the way for a serious internal Yemeni dialogue, but thanks to the intervention of the coalition led by Riyadh, we are more optimistic,” he said.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Sunday that the Houthis had failed to honour an agreement to open a humanitarian corridor between Hodeidah and the capital.

With regards to the region as a whole, Dr Gargash said he believed that a “Saudi-Egyptian axis” will gain power over an “Iranian-Turkish regional axis.”

He also said that Arab involvement in the region is larger and more important now in comparison to previous years.

His remarks hark back to similar comments he made last week in relation to Syria, in which he said that Arab involvement in the war-torn country is necessary to offset the growing influence of Turkey and Iran.

Dr Gargash concluded by saying that the United Arab Emirates will continue to support stability and growth in the Arab world.

Updated: January 1, 2019 08:28 PM

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