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Bahrain: No solution in sight for diplomatic standoff with Qatar

Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifah

Bahrain, one of the Saudi-led quartet of countries boycotting Qatar, says there is no solution in sight for the diplomatic crisis with Doha that has dragged on for almost a year.

“The information in our hands today does not indicate any glimmer of hope for a solution now, as the matter does not happen suddenly,” Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifah told the London-based Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat newspaper on Sunday.

He also accused Qatar of prolonging the dispute by taking its case to Western allies rather than the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

“We were expecting from the beginning of the crisis with Qatar that the emir of Qatar would go to Saudi [Arabia] but this did not happen,” the top Bahraini diplomat added.

Last June, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and the UAE imposed a land, naval and air blockade on import-dependent Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism, an allegation strongly denied by Doha.

The Saudi-led bloc also presented Qatar with a list of steep demands and gave it an ultimatum to comply with them or face consequences.

Doha, however, refused to meet the demands and stressed that it would not abandon its independent foreign policy.

On Saturday, Qatar’s Ministry of Economy and Commerce ordered shops to strip shelves of products imported from the four boycotting countries.

The order came after UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash on Friday accused Qatar of seeking "to target the security of its neighbors and support extremism and terrorism in the region."

"I hope that a year from the boycott will produce a new thought and a wise approach in Doha," he tweeted.

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