Washington: The Gulf states can normalize their relations together, as happened with Israel. We understand Qatar’s position


Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – The US Assistant Secretary of State for Arab Gulf Affairs Timothy Lenderking said, Thursday, that if the Gulf states can normalize relations with Israel, they can also normalize relations between each other, believing that the Qatari crisis can be resolved in stages. .

Lenderking said, in a telephone press conference, that this week was a “historic week” with Bahrain joining the UAE in normalizing relations with Israel, and the three countries signed agreements between them at the White House in the presence of US President Donald Trump.

He added that the American moves are helping to establish peace in the region, and he continued by saying: “We have not pressured any country to normalize with Israel, but rather they do so for their benefit, and we expect other countries to join,” noting that one of the factors that changed the situation between Israel and the Gulf countries is Iran’s actions in the region.

On the future of relations between the Gulf states and America after the two agreements of normalization with Israel, Lenderking said: “We see a lot of good potential, and we have good relations with all the Gulf states even if the relations between them are not at a very good level, and we work with them to face the challenges of the region.”

He added, “We think that there is great potential for progress in regional files, trade exchange, energy and combating terrorism.”

On the Qatari reaction to the UAE and Bahrain’s agreement with Israel to normalize relations, Lunderking said: “You have seen the official comments, where they focused on the difficulties and challenges of normalization with Israel, given the conditions of the Palestinians.”

He added, “We hope that the Palestinians will return to the negotiating table and see job opportunities with us for peace in the region.” He continued by saying, “We understand Qatar’s position, and it has already understood with Israel and has done so for several years,” referring to Qatar’s help in the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Lenderking believed that an agreement could be reached between Qatar and Israel, saying that “the Qataris are helping a lot and developing good relations with the Israelis and we believe that there is a lot that we can build on.” He added, “Each country is moving at a certain speed based on its standards and we are excited that this will happen soon and not far.” “.

Regarding efforts to resolve the crisis of severing relations with Qatar by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, Lenderking said: “We have been working on solving the problem since June 2017 and negotiations are continuing … and recently we have been very interested in opening the airspace between them for aircraft so that they do not fly over Iran, because we do not. You want the money to go to the Iranian treasury. ”

He added, “We will continue our work to effectively fix differences … and if it is possible for countries to normalize their relations with Israel, they can normalize relations with each other.” “We will not be able to impose a solution, but we want them to reach a consensus … and very grateful for the role.” The Kuwaiti is in mediation and they should sit together and talk together. ”

Lenderking believed that the Qatar crisis could be resolved in stages, saying: “We are interested in a phased solution and we were trying to reach a phased solution and then a comprehensive solution.” He added, “We are interested in trade between the Gulf states and the opening of airspace and commercial crossings between them.”

He continued by saying, “We do not think that all the parties may sit at the negotiating table at the same time … But some countries can sit first, then all countries sit.”

In response to a question about Turkey’s position on the normalization of the UAE and Bahrain with Israel and whether it is pressuring Qatar to reject normalization, Lunderking said that “Turkey is an important ally for us even though they oppose normalization with Israel, and we think that this is a wrong position, because that will improve the region and solve some old disputes.” It allows to work together to meet the challenges. ”

He added, “I do not have information about Turkish pressure on Qatar, we know that they have good relations,” and added, “We think that in the end a greater agreement will occur between Qatar and Israel.”


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