Qatar Says Spat With Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Bahrain Resolved

Qatar has resolved its dispute with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, according to Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah.

The spat was nothing more than “differences in opinion,” Attiyah told reporters in Kuwait. The resolution came at an April 17 meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital, and the results aren’t “considered concessions by anyone,” he said. It’s up to Qatar’s fellow Gulf Arab countries to decide on sending their ambassadors back to Doha, he said.

Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E. and Bahrain recalled their envoys from Qatar in March, accusing the state that hosts Al-Jazeera television of undermining regional security. Qatar’s backing for the Muslim Brotherhood, especially in Egypt, has drawn criticism from other Gulf nations that have cracked down on the Islamist organization.

“Everyone sees it in their interest to resolve this issue,” Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Doha Center, said by telephone. “Whether its Abu Dhabi, Doha or Riyadh, there has been an acceptance that while there are issues that they have to discuss, they have to resolve them and sort out the tension.”

The dispute between the Gulf Cooperation Council states threatened to undermine efforts to integrate their economies, which supply about a fifth of the world’s crude oil, and cast a shadow over the region’s security cooperation. Plans to speed integration among members of the alliance, created in 1981, have made little progress in recent years.

Qatar sent billions of dollars of aid to Egypt during Mohamed Mursi’s one-year presidency. Since Mursi’s overthrow by the army in July last year, Egypt has returned some of the money. Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E. and Kuwait have backed the military takeover and pledged $15 billion in aid.

Oman’s Foreign Minister Yusuf Bin Alawi Bin Abdullah said the ambassadors recalled from Qatar are on vacation and will return to their posts, al-Hayat newspaper reported April 20.

To contact the reporters on this story: Fiona MacDonald in Kuwait at fmacdonald4@bloomberg.net; Dana El Baltaji in Dubai at delbaltaji@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net; Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net Ben Holland, Alaa Shahine

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.