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Sun 23 Jul 2017 10:40 AM

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Talks with Qatar hinge on change in policies, says Gargash

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said there should be a "review of actions"

Talks with Qatar hinge on change in policies, says Gargash
UAE state minister for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash speaks during a press conference at his office in Dubai (Photo: GIUSEPPE CACACEAFPGetty Images)

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,” UAE 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, Bahrain and Egypt to isolate his country, saying it violates international law.

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

The Saudi-led alliance severed its diplomatic and transport links with Qatar on June 5, accusing the country of supporting Sunni extremist groups and Iranian-backed Shiite militants.

Qatar denies the charge and says the move was an attempt by Saudi Arabia to impose its will on smaller nations in the Gulf.

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