New Delhi: The sixth edition of Rome Meditteranean Dialogue, otherwise an event that interests experts in foreign relations, this time drew more eyes on the closing day after the delegates from Qatar and Saudi Arabia signalled optimism in solving Gulf Crisis.
Saudi's foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, speaking at the event, said "We have made significant progress in the last few days. We hope that this progress can lead to a final agreement which looks within reach, and I can say that I am somewhat optimistic that we are close to finalising an agreement between all the nations in the dispute to come to a resolution that we think will be satisfactory to all".
ننظر ببالغ التقدير لجهود دولة الكويت الشقيقة لتقريب وجهات النظر حيال الأزمة الخليجية، ونشكر المساعي الأمريكية في هذا الخصوص، ونتطلع لأن تتكلل بالنجاح لما فيه مصلحة وخير المنطقة.— فيصل بن فرحان (@FaisalbinFarhan) December 4, 2020
Hours before Prince Faisal's remark, Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al-Sabah, Foreign Minister of Kuwait, the crucial mediator nation, had described the ongoing discussion over the crisis as "constructive and fruitful".
Al-Sabah went on to say "fruitful discussions have taken place recently in which all parties expressed their eagerness to reach a final solution," in a statement read out on the state television.
Following the statement, Qatar's Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdurahman Al Thani thanked Kuwait's efforts in resolving the crisis.
The Kuwaiti statement is an imperative step towards resolving the GCC crisis. We express our gratitude to the State of Kuwait for their mediation & the United States for their efforts. The interest and security of the people of the Gulf & the region remain our top priority.— محمد بن عبدالرحمن (@MBA_AlThani_) December 4, 2020
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have imposed a diplomatic and economic blockade on Qatar since June 2017, accusing that the rich Gulf country supports terrorism and interferes in their domestic affairs.
They have been asking for a list of demands which Qatar has to implement in order to revive ties.
Qatar has repeatedly denied the charges, calling it "unjustified" and "baseless," and refused the demands, citing them as interference in its sovereignty.
There have been clues in the past on a possible breakthrough in the crisis. However, this for the first time the parties involved are making statement on settling the issues.
Analysts are attributing the progress in the talks to recent changes in US politics. US President Donald Trump son-in-law turned advisor Jared Kushner had visited the region recently and had held talks with Saudi and Qatar.
However, Al Jazeera's political analyst Marwan Bishara does not subscribe to the opinion. He holds that both Saudi and Qatar had initiated the talks to solve the crisis where Kushner had little to do.
The new announcements have drawn support across the GCC and the people took it to social media to express their revived hope in restoring peace and stability in the region.
The crisis had forced out Qataris residing in other GCC countries, closed their airspace to Qatari aircraft and sealed their borders and ports. According to reports some mixed-nationality families were separated.
Since Friday, the GCC people have been tweeting wishes for the leaders who took initiative for solving the crisis. Tributes were paid to late Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah who had started the mediation talks.