Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan says a resolution to end the 2017 Gulf diplomatic crisis is in sight, with all nations involved "on board".
A resolution of the Gulf diplomatic crisis is in sight, with all nations involved "on board", Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan has said, adding a final agreement is expected soon to end Qatar's blockade.
"We are in full coordination with our partners in this process and the prospects that we see are very positive towards a final agreement," he told AFP news agency on Saturday.
"The eventual resolution will involve all parties concerned."
Gulf allies, US see progress in talks
On Friday, rivals Qatar and Saudi Arabia, along with neutral Oman and Kuwait, expressed optimism that a resolution could be reached to the Gulf row that has seen Riyadh and its allies boycott Doha for over three years.
Qatar said that some progress has been achieved to resolve the Gulf crisis, but cautioned the crisis will not be immediately resolved.
"We have achieved certain progress at a certain point of time more than a year ago, and then things have slowed," Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani said on Friday at the Mediterranean Dialogues forum in Rome.
"Right now, there are some movements that we hope will put an end (to) this crisis," he said, without giving details.
Kuwait and the US, who are mediating in the dispute expressed optimism that ongoing talks over the crisis have been "fruitful."
Oman, Turkey, and Iran also hailed diplomatic measures to end years-long boycott of Doha by the Arab quartet.
No comment from Bahrain, Egypt, UAE yet
The Saudi acknowledgment appeared to signal something was changing.
However, the other three nations who are also boycotting Qatar — Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates — did not immediately acknowledge this burst of optimism.
Saudi led its allies to cut ties with Qatar in 2017, accusing it of backing militant groups in the region, charges Doha denies.
They subsequently forced out Qataris residing in their countries, closed their airspace to Qatari aircraft, and sealed their borders and ports, separating some mixed-nationality families.
Qatar using Iran's airspace
Saudi Arabia's closure of its airspace has forced Qatar Airways aircraft to fly over Iran, Riyadh's arch-rival and long-time adversary of Washington, paying significant overflight fees to Tehran in the process.
The New York Times has reported that Qatar pays $100 million annually to fly over Iran, citing diplomatic sources.
Qatar's priority was to restore free movement of its citizens to the boycotting nations, access to their airspace, and reopen its only land border shared with Saudi Arabia, diplomats said.
All countries involved are US allies. Qatar hosts the region's largest US military base, Bahrain is home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, and Saudi Arabia and the UAE host US troops.
Washington has been pushing for reopening Gulf airspace for Qatari aircraft as a first step, diplomats and sources have said.
Iran nuclear deal
Regarding the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the Saudi FM said the Gulf states must be fully consulted if a US nuclear agreement with Iran is revived.
"Primarily what we expect is that we are fully consulted, that we and our other regional friends are fully consulted in what goes on, vis a vis the negotiations with Iran," Prince Faisal said.