Newspaper quotedFinancial TimesThe British government quoted sources describing it as “well-informed”, saying that Saudi Arabia has intensified its efforts to resolve its ongoing crisis with Qatar, since the defeat of US President Donald Trump and the victory of his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden.
In a report translated by “Arabi 21”, the newspaper suggested that Riyadh’s initiative to end the blockade it is leading on its Gulf neighbor comes within the framework of the Kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s endeavor to win the biden administration’s incoming Biden administration.
The Biden administration is expected to be “cooler towards the young prince who has sparked widespread criticism from the Democrats over the killing of (Saudi journalist Jamal) Khashoggi, the Yemen war, and the detention of dozens of activists, businessmen and senior members of the royal family,” in contrast to the “tolerance” which Trump practiced it with that record.
The newspaper quoted an advisor to Saudi Arabia and the UAE as saying, “This is a gift to Biden,” adding that Bin Salman “feels as if he is in the crosshairs of fire” after Biden won the elections and wants an agreement with Qatar “to send a signal that he is ready and ready to take practical steps” to the satisfaction of the home resident The new white.
Ali Al-Shehabi, a Saudi analyst close to the royal court, said that for months the Saudi leadership was “open to raising this issue … for some time, they have been working to close many hot files and it is clear that this is one of them.”
A diplomat familiar with the talks, who was not named by the newspaper, said the latest round was held with US and Kuwaiti mediation aimed at laying the foundations for direct negotiations between Riyadh and Doha.
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“Preconditions” on both sides
Qatar wants to make sure that there are preconditions before any bilateral talks, and the diplomat said that they may include “confidence-building” measures such as lifting the air embargo, or allowing the free movement of Qatari citizens to countries that have imposed the ban.
Robert O’Brien, Trump’s national security advisor, had previously said that he hoped to see Qatar Airways able to fly over the boycotting Arab countries “during the next seventy days,” that is, before the end of Trump’s presidency.
The “advisor to Riyadh and Abu Dhabi” said that the leaderships of the two countries want Doha to “soften the tone” of the television channel Al-Jazeera, which its critics accuse of being a propaganda tool for Doha, and to stop its criticism of Saudi Arabia.
Riyadh did not immediately respond to the Financial Times’ request for comment.
After the ban was imposed, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi presented Doha with an “unusual” list, as the report described, of 13 demands, which included closing Al-Jazeera, restricting Doha’s relations with Tehran, and closing a Turkish military base in Qatar.
But the advisor said that Kuwaiti mediators reached a new agreement to replace the 13 clauses, which would pave the way for direct negotiations.
The preliminary agreement could include shipping LNG from Qatar to Bahrain, according to those familiar with the negotiations.
However, a person familiar with Doha’s position said that no details of confidence-building measures had been discussed, and that there were question marks over Abu Dhabi’s position.
And last week, Yousef Al-Otaiba, Abu Dhabi’s ambassador to Washington, said that ending the dispute is not a priority, speaking of pending differences between the two countries over the future direction of the Middle East.
But Western officials and regional analysts said the UAE would likely follow Saudi Arabia, its biggest ally.