*Breakthrough in negotiations; Riyadh representing other parties; talks based on respect for sovereignty of nations
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani stressed on Wednesday that there were no obstacles to resolve the GCC crisis at the political level, adding that Qatar does not dwell on small issues.
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs was speaking at a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. He said that there was a breakthrough in the GCC crisis that took place two weeks ago after the Kuwaiti statement on the issue, adding that talks are ongoing on reaching an agreement in principle on the framework to accomplish the reconciliation.
HE the foreign minister highlighted that the talks were based on foundations that include respecting the sovereignty of countries, and stressed that no country can impose its conditions on the other whether it was the Qatari side or the other side. He noted that talks on a GCC reconciliation took place only with Saudi Arabia, but the latter was representing the other parties as well.
HE Sheikh Mohamed said Qatar was firm on its position on the unity of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and on resolving crises through direct and constructive dialogue. He said that the continued disagreement did not benefit any side, and that the people of the GCC were the biggest losers of the crisis, adding that all member countries will emerge victorious if trust can be rebuilt inside the GCC as a regional institution.
HE the foreign minister said Qatar considers GCC security a priority, adding that escalation would not benefit any side. He also called for a dialogue between GCC countries and Iran, and said that Qatar welcomed any initiative that made the region stable.
HE Sheikh Mohamed said it was important for all countries to adhere to the UN Security Council resolutions on Libya. He also stressed on the importance of reaching a just resolution to the cause of the Palestinian people based on international legitimacy, adding that there can be no resolution to the Palestinian issue without ending Israeli occupation and establishing the State of Palestine.
HE the foreign minister said talks with the Foreign Minister of the Russia focused on the importance of enhancing bilateral economic cooperation, discussing the developments of the GCC crisis, conditions in Syria, and the Iranian nuclear deal.
He expressed his appreciation of the continued coordination between Russia and Qatar in the field of natural gas.
Bahrain urges end to regional disputes
Bahrain called on Wednesday for an end to regional disputes, the latest statement suggesting a rift between Qatar and four countries could ease ahead of a Gulf summit on January 5 in Saudi Arabia.
Manama's Supreme Defence Council, led by King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, declared a need "to end regional conflicts and disputes by peaceful means", according to the official Bahrain News Agency (BNA). The statement comes amid Riyadh-led efforts to resolve the crisis.
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