SAUDI ARABIA

Will all nations be on board to end the GCC dispute?

December 05, 2020
Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan, who on Saturday indicated that a resolution of the Gulf diplomatic crisis is in sight, with all nations involved
Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan, who on Saturday indicated that a resolution of the Gulf diplomatic crisis is in sight, with all nations involved "on board", is seen at the Manama Dialogues.

RIYADH — The readiness of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and his government in sustaining a unified Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was lauded by Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, with the world too praising the Kingdom for its willingness to seek a rapprochement.

Sheikh Nawaf expressed his thanks and appreciation to King Salman for the step the Kingdom has made, under his wise leadership and his usual skill, in order to achieve a historic achievement by reaching a final agreement to resolve the Gulf dispute.

In a message sent to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Sheikh Nawaf affirmed that Saudi Arabia's representation of the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt reflects its prestigious position and its pioneering role in seeking to support the security and stability of the region and its keenness on solidarity and unity of ranks under the delicate circumstances in the world and the region.

He said: “What has been reached between the brothers is an achievement that will restore our Gulf entity and our joint Arab action, its unity and cohesion in the face of the challenges afflicting the whole world, so that we can work together in order to achieve the legitimate hopes and aspirations of our peoples for security, stability, prosperity and well-being.”

Sheikh Nawaf’s optimistic view of a agreement to the intractable three-year Gulf dispute — pitting the four nations against Qatar — was concurred by Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan, who on Saturday, indicated that a resolution of the Gulf diplomatic crisis is in sight, with all nations involved "on board" and final agreement expected soon.

In an interview with AFP conducted in Bahrain, the top Saudi diplomat also insisted that Gulf States must be fully consulted if the incoming US administration revives a nuclear deal with Iran. "The only way towards reaching an agreement that is sustainable is through such consultation," he said on the sidelines of a security conference in Manama.

"We are in full coordination with our partners in this process and the prospects that we see are very positive towards a final agreement," Prince Faisal said, adding, that "the eventual resolution will involve all parties concerned".

"What we envision is a resolution that covers all aspects and is satisfactory to all parties involved," he said when asked whether the dispute was headed for a full settlement. It would happen "soon", he said.

On Friday there was a chorus of optimistic comments from Qatar, Oman and Kuwait, who all said progress had been made towards ending the crisis. Kuwait, which is leading mediation efforts, said all sides had expressed keenness for a "final agreement" during recent "fruitful discussions", which have included the United States.

But the detractors of the Kingdom in the region would not be happy to see a unified GCC, and these countries will work behind the scenes to put obstacles in the path of reconciliation.

In Brussels, the European Union Saturday welcomed and praised Kuwait's efforts at resolving the crisis within the six-member GCC.

"The European Union welcomes the announcement by Kuwait's Foreign Minister (Sheikh Dr.) Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Friday that efforts aimed at resolving the crisis within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have been fruitful," said EU lead spokesperson for foreign affairs and security policy, Peter Stano, in a statement.

"The EU commends the role played by Kuwait, as well as by the US, in facilitating this statement. The EU continues to support Kuwait's ongoing mediation efforts," said the spokesperson for the 27-member European bloc.

"The settlement of the internal rift will allow the GCC to restore its unity and resume its important work. The EU remains ready to further strengthen its long-standing partnership with a reinvigorated GCC," he added.

In Rabat, Kuwait-led progress towards resolving a dispute involving Gulf Arab states is highly appreciated, African Union (AU) Commission chief Moussa Faki said on Saturday, a day after Kuwait's foreign minister hinted that an end to the rift appears near.

The AU hopes Kuwait's efforts to end the Gulf dispute would ultimately come to fruition, Faki said in a statement posed on the African bloc's website, adding that peace within the Gulf Arab region invariably leads to more prosperous ties with the AU.

Just a day earlier, Kuwait's Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Nasser Al-Sabah said in a TV address that "fruitful discussions" had recently taken place, whereby Gulf and Arab parties "affirmed their keenness on solidarity and stability to reach a final agreement that would achieve the aspirations of lasting solidarity." — Agencies


December 05, 2020
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