A senior Trump administration official announced a breakthrough in resolving a dispute between Qatar, Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries. An agreement is to be signed in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.
“We have made a breakthrough in bridging the rift within the Gulf Cooperation Council,” said a source who asked to remain anonymous.
Washington has recently been pursuing active diplomatic efforts in the Middle East in the interest of creating a united front against Iran. As part of these efforts, several agreements involving Israel and Arab states have already been concluded or are under development. All countries involved in these deals are allies of the United States.
Jared Kushner, a senior adviser and son-in-law to the president, who was tasked with overseeing efforts to resolve the dispute, facilitated an agreement and conducted telephone calls until Monday morning, the source said. When Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister announced in December that a resolution to the dispute was achievable, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted that Gulf reconciliation would “contribute to the stability and political and economic development of all the peoples of the region.” …
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have imposed diplomatic, trade and tourism embargoes on Qatar since mid-2017, accusing it of supporting terrorism. Qatar denies this and claims that the embargo is intended to undermine its sovereignty.
According to an administration source, Kushner, as well as special envoy for the Middle East Avi Berkowitz and special adviser of the State Department Brian Hook will travel to the Saudi city of Al-Ula to attend the signing ceremony.
Leaders of the Arab Gulf countries will gather in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for the annual summit, which is expected to announce an agreement.
According to the source, the agreement provides for the end of the blockade of Qatar, and in return Qatar will abandon the related claims.
The source added that the signing of the agreement is scheduled for January 5.
If the deal goes through, it will add to the list of diplomatic victories for the Kushner team, which also includes agreements to normalize relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.
Kouchner also worked on agreements to normalize relations between Israel and the rest of the Arab world, but this work may not be completed until the change of administration.
“This is just a huge breakthrough,” said a White House source. – The blockade will be lifted. This will allow you to travel and transport goods between countries. This will increase stability in the region. “