Saudi Arabia on Saturday suspended any dialogue with Qatar, accusing it of “distorting facts”, just after a report of a phone call between the leaders of both countries suggested a breakthrough in the Gulf dispute.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman spoke by telephone with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Friday when they discussed the Gulf dispute, state media from both countries reported earlier.
Saudi Arabia led the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain in cutting ties with Qatar in June, accusing it of bankrolling Islamist extremist groups and of being too close to Iran. Doha denies the accusations.
According to earlier reports, the crown prince welcomed the desire to end the dispute.
The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported that details would be announced after Saudi Arabia reaches an agreement with UAE and Bahrain and Egypt.
But hopes of a breakthrough were dashed as reports of the call emerged.
On Thursday Donald Trump offered to mediate in the crisis, saying he believed the dispute could be solved “fairly easily.”
In Washington on Thursday, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, a key figure involved in mediation attempts, met Mr Trump and gave an upbeat assessment of his efforts so far.
But in a statement early Friday, the Saudi-led bloc had shown no signs of backing down as it questioned the Kuwaiti emir’s statement that Qatar would be willing to accept their 13 demands.
The demands include shutting Doha-based broadcaster Al-Jazeera, closing a Turkish military base in the emirate and downgrading Qatari diplomatic ties with Iran.
The bloc also voiced “regret” about the Kuwaiti ruler’s statement “on the success of mediation in stopping military intervention”.
Instead, the four Arab states stressed that “the military option has not been and will not be considered” under any circumstances.
Kuwait has emerged as a key mediator in the crisis, while the United States has given mixed signals on its policy.
Riyadh and Doha are both key allies of the United States.
Trump, who chose Saudi Arabia for his first overseas visit as president in May, two weeks before the crisis erupted, immediately expressed staunch support for Saudi Arabia.
Some other US officials including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have adopted a more measured tone.
Mr Tillerson and Sheikh Mohammed…