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Doha sees positive stance in talks with UAE to mend ties

DOHA – Qatar has held several rounds of talks with the United Arab Emirates to mend fences following an agreement to end an inter-Arab feud and there is a “positive vision” to overcome differences, the Qatari foreign minister said.

Diplomats and regional sources have said Riyadh and Cairo were moving faster than the UAE and Bahrain to rebuild the relationship with Doha.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani told U.K.-based Al Araby television in an interview aired on Friday that it was natural for talks to have different paces.

He said there has been positive progress in talks with Saudi Arabia, which Qatar’s emir visited recently, and with Egypt, where Sheikh Mohammed held talks last week. He said Qatar was discussing economic cooperation with both countries.

“With the UAE, the committees held several meetings … and we sensed from the working teams a positive vision to overcome differences,” the minister said. He said the last round was held a few weeks ago and he was also in touch with Emirati officials.

“It could take some time to move past this difficult period,” he added.

The UAE and Egypt oppose Qatari support for Islamist groups, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, outlawed by all four states.

“We do not have many outstanding issues with Egypt and there is positive progress,” he said without elaborating, while noting coordination between the two countries to secure a ceasefire brokered by Egypt in the Gaza Strip.

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