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The New Arab

US wants to 'build momentum' for Gulf crisis summit

The anti-Doha quartet imposed a land, air and sea blockade on Qatar [AFP]

Date of publication: 25 July, 2018

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US charge d'affaires to Qatar, Ryan Gliha said his country wants to ”build momentum towards resolving the Gulf crisis.

The United States is looking to "build some momentum" towards resolving the Gulf crisis ahead of a possible summit in the autumn, a US diplomat said on Tuesday, more than a year after a controversial blockade on Qatar.

US charge d'affaires to Qatar, Ryan Gliha said his country wants to ”build to a point where there will be a meeting of all of the heads of state ... it might be September or it might be October”.

The US will "try to build some momentum" ahead of the summit to make it a "big success" when President Donald Trump calls Gulf leaders together, the charge d’affaires told journalists.

Gliha did not specify a venue for the proposed initiative. 

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Doha in June last year, accusing Qatar of funding terrorism and cosying up to Iran, Riyadh's regional rival.

Doha strongly denies all charges.

In late May, Kuwait's deputy Foreign Minister Khaled al-Jarallah told AFP a summit between the US and Gulf nations would be "an opportunity to put an end to the crisis".

Kuwait has attempted to mediate the spat between Doha and its Gulf peers however little progress has been made.

The remarks came as the UN's top court on Monday ordered the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to protect the rights of Qatari citizens amid the bitter blockade.

Judges at the International Court of Justice in The Hague narrowly ruled that the UAE must "ensure that families, which include a Qatari member, separated by the measures adopted by the UAE ... are reunited", and that Qatari students are allowed "to complete their education" in the Emirates.

Qatar filed a case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in June, accusing the UAE of human rights violations as a result of the blockade by enacting measures including expelling Qataris and closing UAE airspace and seaports to Qatar.

Qatar claimed the UAE's actions were in violation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) - including discrimination on the basis of nationality - of which the UAE and Qatar are both signatories.

Doha had called on the ICJ to order the UAE to comply with its obligations under CERD and restore the rights of Qataris.

Qatar also requested the Abu Dhabi pay reparations, including compensation.

Qatar welcomed Monday's ruling, with foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed bin Saeed al-Rumaihi, saying in a tweet that his country "was not seeking to escalate the dispute with the Emirates, but to repair the prejudice imposed on its citizens".

Diplomatic efforts have so far proved fruitless in resolving the crisis which has rendered the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council practically obsolete.

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