Four Arab FMs meeting in Cairo - screen shot from OnLive
CAIRO – 5 July 2017: The four Arab foreign ministers’ meeting regarding the Qatar dispute began with the participation of Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Emirati, Bahraini and Saudi counterparts in a series of discussions at the Tahrir Palace headquarters in Cairo on Wednesday.
comes per Shoukry’s invitation to discuss “the governments’ vision regarding the current and coming escalation of the dispute.” According to Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zaid on July 2, the meeting aims to follow up on the latest developments of the dispute described as “the most complicated diplomatic crisis in the Middle East for many years.”
The ministers’ meeting schedule was announced by the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday. The four Arab ministers will hold a closed meeting in the beginning, followed by an expanded meeting with the diplomatic delegations of the four states.
A short break will follow the expanded meeting according to Abu Zaid. If the discussions are successfully concluded by this point, a press conference will be held to announce the latest results of the meetings.
Qatar’s relations with several Arab and Gulf states have been strained since May 24, when the Qatari state-run news agency reported Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani’s statements regarding Gulf foreign policy with Iran as “unwise.”
On June 5, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, the eastern government of Libya and Yemen decided to cut all diplomatic ties with Qatar amid allegations that the small Gulf state supports terrorism. Ports and airspaces were also later cut off to Qatari vessels.
On June 6, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Sabah started a tour that included Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar in an attempt to mediate between the three countries.