US concerned Arab dispute with Qatar may be at an impasse

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have issued a joint statement on Wednesday.

:: The United States is increasingly concerned that a dispute between Qatar and other Arab states is at an impasse and could drag on for a long time or intensify, the US State Department said on Thursday.

“We remain very concerned about that ongoing situation between Qatar and GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a briefing.

“We’ve become increasingly concerned that that dispute is at an impasse at this point. We believe that this could potentially drag on for weeks, it could drag on for months. It could possibly even intensify,” she said.

Meanwhie, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, tweeted on Thursday that Qatar denying the “damages” caused by its policies toward Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries is “strange.”

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have all boycotted Qatar over its support to terrorism. On Wednesday, the foreign ministers of the four countries met in Cairo to discuss the next move against Qatar.

In their joint statement, they said that the next meeting will be held in Manama.

The four countries – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain – also thanked the Emir of Kuwait for his mediation efforts.

Gargash also said in a tweet after the Cairo meeting on Wednesday that the official Qatari response deserved the neglect it received at the conference, stressing that the next steps would increase the isolation of Doha.

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