GCC in historic deal to end internal divide

 18 Apr 2014 - 4:07


DOHA: GCC foreign ministers yesterday agreed on a deal to end months of unprecedented tension between Qatar and three other member states — Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain. 
Qatar’s Foreign Minister 
H E Dr Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah took part in an extraordinary meeting in Riyadh.
They agreed that the policies of GCC member states should not undermine the “interests, security and stability” of each other, agencies reported yesterday, quoting an official statement issued after the meeting. Such policies must also not affect the “sovereignty” of a member state.
The three GCC states recalled their ambassadors from Qatar last month, accusing it of meddling in their internal affairs and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.
The foreign ministers hailed the historic achievement “to realise the interests of the peoples in the member states, pave the way for wider horizons of security and stability, and boost member states’ preparations for challenges ahead, under a strong and coherent entity.” They also praised the role of Kuwait in reaching the aspired outcome.
Following the meeting at  Riyadh Air Base that lasted more than two hours, the ministers agreed “to adopt mechanisms that would ensure moving forward in a collective framework, and that the policies of any GCC member state would not affect the interests, stability and security of its members and without impacting on the sovereignty of any of its members”, according to the statement.
They also agreed on implementation mechanism of the Riyadh Document, which is based on the principles of the GCC statute.
During the tripartite meeting in Riyadh in November, Kuwait’s Emir H H Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah sought to ease tensions between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
 The London-based Al Hayat daily yesterday cited Oman’s Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi as saying that the crisis has been “ended” and that the dispute belongs to “the past”.
“The problem has ended after doing what has to be done. This has helped keep the issue within the GCC family, without giving a chance for others to intervene,” Al Hayat website quoted him as saying. “But what happened in the region has its own impact on the GCC countries,” he said, stressing the GCC states will continue to support other Arab brothers.
On Tuesday, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal told reporters that GCC countries “are free in their policies, provided they do not harm interests of other members” of the regional grouping. “As long as these countries adhere to this principle, there will be no problems among GCC states.” The Peninsula