Russia’s foreign affairs minister Sergey Lavrov visited a number of Gulf capitals in early March, starting with Doha and Riyadh, who are locked in a diplomatic standoff that has split the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Lavrov’s first stop was Qatar on 4 March, where he held talks with foreign affair minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, covering the conflicts in Libya, Somalia and Syria as well as the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Afterwards Lavrov said of the GCC schism that “it is Russia’s wholehearted desire to see all aspects of this situation settled.” However, he does not appear to be volunteering to act as a mediator. Sheikh Mohammed said during the same press conference that there were no new moves to resolve the Gulf crisis. Sheikh Mohammed also confirmed that Doha was in discussions with Moscow to buy its sought-after S-400 missile defence system.
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