UK foreign secretary urges dialogue to end Gulf rift

Boris Johnson is currently on a Gulf tour in bid to ease tension between Qatar and four other Arab states.
Qatar UK
The Gulf crisis started on June 5 with four Arab states cutting ties with Qatar [Handout/KUNA/AFP]

The United Kingdom’s foreign secretary has called for “dialogue” to resolve the current dispute between Qatar and four other Arab states over Doha’s alleged support for terrorism, re-iterating London’s support for Kuwait’s mediation efforts to end the rift.

Boris Johnson made the call during a meeting with Kuwait’s foreign minister in the Kuwaiti capital on Saturday, according to KUNA, Kuwait’s state news agency.

“My impression is that progress can be made… But I am not going to pretend that it is going to be overnight,” Johnson said after the meeting.

The two disputing sides have not met yet, but “let’s keep our fingers crossed, let’s keep working for common sense and for deescalation on both sides”, he added.

Johnson’s talks in Kuwait came a day after he held meetings on Friday with officials from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – two leading actors in the dispute.

It will be followed by similar meetings with senior leaders in Qatar later on Saturday, according to Johnson’s office.

Johnson was “urging all parties to get behind Kuwait’s mediation efforts and work towards de-escalation and Gulf unity for the sake of regional stability”, his office said.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is also due in Kuwait with a similar mission on Monday.


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