The end of the Gulf dispute is a victory for the region, with Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister telling CNBC that relations between Qatar and the four Arab countries have been fully restored.
The Gulf Cooperation Council and Egyptian leaders signed an agreement on Tuesday aimed at strengthening unity and harmony. The deal came three years after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a trade and travel blockade on Qatar.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud cited the agreement made in the name of the ancient city, saying, “We were able to reach the Al-Ula Declaration, which would have created a dispute between the four countries and Qatar is.” Al-Ulla where leaders of Arab nations met.
The region went into crisis in 2017, when Saudi Arabia and its allies cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar, accusing the small gas-rich nation of being too close to Iran and supporting terrorism. Doha has denied these allegations.
Saudi Arabia opened its airspace, land and sea border to Qatar on Monday. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomed the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, when the latter arrived on Saudi soil.
Al-Saud said he felt the deal would be a “very, very strong basis” for regional stability.
Asked if this is a win for the outgoing Trump administration, al-Saud said: “I think this agreement is a win for the region, first of all, a win for all of us.”
Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud holds a press conference at the end of the 41st Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit on 5 January 2021 in the city of Al-Ulla in northwestern Saudi Arabia.
Fayez Noorldine | AFP | Getty Images
Nevertheless, he acknowledged support from the US and Kuwait, which is mediating between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. “Absolutely, President Trump and (White House Senior Advisor) Jared Kushner contributed to reaching this agreement, working very closely with Kuwait, who have been working on it for some time,” he told CNBC Told Headley Gamble.
Not about Iran or Washington
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Tuesday that GCC unity is needed to counter the challenges in the region, “especially the threats posed by the Iranian regime’s nuclear program,” according to Arab News.
Foreign Minister Al-Saud told CNBC that the deal was for the safety of the region. “This agreement is not about Iran or anyone else. It is about bringing our countries together and making sure that we work together to provide prosperity and security for our people.”
Asked if Saudi Arabia is trying to get in the good grip of President-Elect Joe Biden before the inauguration, he said: “It’s not about Washington, it’s about the region and priorities that our Countries have. “
Biden is expected to withdraw US support for the state when he assumes office.
The Saudi foreign minister said that the Gulf countries would cooperate on security issues as well as economic integration.
“We believe very strongly that the Al-Ulla Declaration resolves all outstanding issues and concerns that the parties of the countries used to have, and that it now has a very strong, cooperative agenda for the GCC and also the basis for it Does. ” Field, ”he said.