Dr Anwar Gargash Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Dr Anwar Mohammad Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign affairs, on Friday welcomed changes to Qatar’s anti-terror legislation as a “positive” step in the crisis between Doha and four Arab neighbours.

Qatar announced a decree by Emir Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani late on Thursday establishing two nominal lists of individuals and terrorist entities, and the requirements for being included in them.

It also defined terrorists, terrorist crimes, terrorist entities as well as the financing of terrorism.

The decree follows the signing on July 11 of a US-Qatar agreement to combat terror funding during a visit to Doha by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to try to defuse the Gulf crisis.

However, the four Arab countries — Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain — at odds with Doha dismissed that deal as “insufficient”.

On Friday, Gargash welcomed the latest Qatar move.

“It is a positive step to deal seriously with the list of 59 terrorists,” Gargash said in a tweet. “The pressure linked to the crisis has begun to bear fruit.”

But Gargash, repeated his demands for Qatar to reorient its policies in order to ease the crisis with its Arab neighbours.

“It would be wiser (for Qatar) to totally change its (political) orientation,” he said.

The dispute erupted when the Arab block broke diplomatic and commercial ties with Qatar on June 5 for its support to terrorism.

They have boycotted Doha, including closing its only land border, refusing Qatar access to their airspace and ordering their citizens back from Qatar.

On June 9, Saudi Arabia and its allies published a list of 59 people and 12 organisations for their involvement in “terrorism” with support from Qatar.

And on June 22, they went on to present Qatar with a list of 13 demands with which to comply to end the worst political crisis in the region for years.

Qatar's ruler: it is time to resolve differences through talks

Qatar's emir said on Friday that it was time for negotiations to resolve differences between Doha and four Arab states which have severed diplomatic ties with it.

"The time has come for us to spare the people from the political differences between the governments," the Emir Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani said in a televised speech, calling for dialogue.