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UAE's Gargash: Diplomacy Is Priority in Dealing with Qatar Crisis, Alternative is ‘Parting of Ways’ - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Dubai- UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Saturday that if Qatar did not accept the conditions by fellow Arab states which imposed a boycott this month on the gas-rich peninsula, there would be a “parting of ways”.

“The alternative is not escalation, the alternative is parting of ways, because it is very difficult for us to maintain a collective grouping,” Gargash told reporters.

He said diplomacy with Qatar remained a priority, but added that mediation efforts to resolve the dispute had been undermined by the public disclosure of the demands.

“The mediators’ ability to shuttle between the parties and try and reach a common ground has been compromised by this leak,” he said. “Their success is very dependent on their ability to move but not in the public space.”

A 13-point list of demands has been presented by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE. It includes closing the Al Jazeera satellite television network, curbing relations with Iran, shutting a Turkish base in Doha and paying reparations.

Gargash said that if Qatar fails to comply within the 10-day timeline set out in the ultimatum, it will be isolated.

Gargash said the Turkish deployment of troops to Qatar was a “meaningless escalation” and he hoped Ankara would act in a “reasonable way”.

“We hope that Turkey prioritizes the interest of the Turkish state and not partisan ideology,” Gargash said.

For its part, Kuwait is helping mediate the dispute as is the United States, for which it has posed a challenging test since Qatar hosts a base housing the headquarters of US air power in the Middle East as well as 11,000 troops.

The bloc of Arab states that imposed the sanctions on Qatar accuse it of funding terrorism, fomenting regional unrest and drawing too close to terror state sponsors, like Iran.

The sanctions have disrupted Qatar’s main import routes by land from Saudi Arabia and by sea from big container ships docked in the United Arab Emirates.