The leaders and heads of the delegations of the Gulf Cooperation Council states signed the final statement of the 41st Gulf Summit, held in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia, and emphasized the development of solid relations and respect for the principles of good neighborliness.
The statement praised the efforts and good endeavors made by the late Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to heal the rift between member states, and expressed thanks and appreciation for the efforts of the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawwaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and the efforts of the United States of America as well.
The statement welcomed the return of joint Gulf action to its normal course, strengthening unity and cohesion among member states, preserving security and stability in the region, stressing that the security of any state should not be compromised or targeting its security and undermining its national cohesion.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah said that what happened today at the summit is a complete folding of the dispute with Qatar and a complete return to diplomatic relations, stressing that no matter how far the differences in the Gulf house reach, the wisdom of the leaders is able to overcome that.
The Saudi minister affirmed that the final statement of the summit (Al-Ula statement) confirms the solidarity of the Gulf states in the face of any direct or indirect interference in the affairs of any of them, and established relations, and calls for strengthening relations and respecting the principles of good neighborliness.
The Saudi Foreign Minister pointed out that the Gulf summit raised the supreme interests of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and that it would not have achieved its objectives without the solidarity and the important role of Kuwait and the United States.
For his part, the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf – who read Al-Ula’s statement – stated that the summit confirmed the strengthening of the role of the Cooperation Council by unifying political positions and developing strategic partnerships.
He added that the citizens of the countries of the region hope that the summit statement will restore joint action to its natural course, noting that the countries have committed to strengthening cooperation in combating terrorist entities, currents and organizations that threaten any of them.
According to Al-Ula’s statement, the summit was titled: Honesty and Reconciliation, and it closed the page of the past and looked forward to a future dominated by cooperation. He pointed out that Egypt’s signing of the Al-Ula statement is a consolidation of the fraternal relations that bind Egypt with the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
Earlier in the day, the leaders and heads of the delegations of the Gulf Cooperation Council states signed the final statement of the Gulf summit.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – who chaired the summit – said that the Gulf leaders signed a statement to affirm solidarity and stability, and thanked the leaders of the Gulf countries for the courageous steps they took.
In the opening speech, the Saudi crown prince said that the efforts of Kuwait and the United States led to the cooperation of all to reach the Al-Ula statement agreement.
And the Saudi crown prince called for unified efforts to face the challenges in the region, which are represented in particular by Iran’s nuclear and ballistic programs, and the destructive projects implemented by its agents, as he put it.
He pointed out that Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz instructed that the names of Sultan Qaboos (the late Sultan of Oman) and Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (the late Emir of Kuwait), may God have mercy on them, be launched at the summit.
In turn, the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, affirmed that the summit comes to support joint Gulf action and seeks to achieve the aspiration of the peoples of the region.
The Emir of Kuwait appreciated the American efforts to heal the rift between the countries of the region, before the Gulf leaders signed the final statement of the summit and the “Al-Ula statement.”
Kuwait announced hours before the start of the summit that Saudi Arabia would reopen its airspace and its land and sea borders with Qatar after 3 and a half years of the blockade.
Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmed Nasser Al-Sabah said that the Emir of Kuwait had a phone call yesterday with the Emir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.
He explained, “During the call, it was emphasized that everyone was keen on unity, reunification and the gathering of the word by signing the Al-Ola statement, which promises – God willing – to mark the beginning of a bright page in fraternal relations, free of any symptoms that may be tainted.”
The Saudi Press Agency reported today, Tuesday, that Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah made a phone call to the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister.
The agency added that the two ministers “discussed, during the contact, brotherly relations between the two brotherly countries, in addition to reviewing regional and international issues of common interest.”
The Emir of the State of Qatar participated at the head of his country’s delegation to the summit, and it arrived in Al-Ula, where he was received by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who embraced him when he got off the plane.
The Emir of the State of Kuwait headed his country’s delegation, and the Omani Deputy Prime Minister for Cabinet Affairs Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said headed the Sultanate’s delegation at the Gulf Summit, on behalf of Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said.
Bahrain was represented by the Crown Prince and Prime Minister Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, on behalf of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
The Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, headed his country’s delegation to the summit, while Egypt was represented by Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.
End the conflict
A senior US administration official said that a breakthrough was achieved in the dispute that has been going on for more than 3 years between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.
While Saudi Arabia has made it clear that it intends to lift the blockade, the other three countries have not issued a similar statement, but the US official said, “We expect” that they will also join the lifting of the blockade, adding that according to the expected agreement at this summit, Qatar will abandon the lawsuits related to the blockade.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt had cut ties with Qatar and imposed a sea, land and air blockade on it since mid-2017, accusing it of supporting terrorism. Qatar denied this, saying the blockade aimed to undermine its sovereignty.