Rift among GCC states healed: FM

April 24, 2014 - 4:52:51 am
Qatar’s Foreign Minister H E Dr Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah  and Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Khaled  Al Hamad Al Sabah attended the third session of the Kuwaiti-Qatari Joint Higher Committee meeting in Kuwait yesterday.  The two sides signed an agreement for providing ample facilities to establish diplomatic missions, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Qatari Diplomatic Institute and Saud Al Nasser Al Sabah Diplomatic Institute, an executive programme for media cooperation and an MoU between Qatar Chamber and Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

DOHA: The Foreign Minister H E Dr Khaled bin Mohamed Al Attiyah said yesterday that the “Gulf differences” had come to an end and it was now up to the countries that had recalled their ambassadors from Doha to send them back. 

Speaking at a joint news conference with Kuwaiti First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al Hamd Al Sabah, Al Attiyah said that the GCC deal was struck without the parties making any concessions.

“The brothers in the GCC countries have reached deals which do not mean that concessions were made by any party,” Qatar News Agency quoted the Foreign Minister as saying.

He said that the difference of opinion between Qatar and three GCC countries — Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain — was over and the mechanism of the inter-Gulf agreement hammered out in Riyadh on April 17 was “clear cut”. 

Al Attiyah commended the Emir of Kuwait H H Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah for sponsoring the Riyadh agreement. 

On Qatar’s view of the situation in Egypt, the Foreign Minister said that Qatar was keen on the stability and prosperity of that country, as explained by the Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani during the Arab League Summit recently held in Kuwait.

“I cannot give an assessment of the situation in Egypt but we hope to see Egypt rising at all levels, which is extremely important for all of us in the Arab world,” he said.

On the future of Qatari-Egyptian relations in case presidential candidate Abdul Fattah Al Sisi wins, Al Attiyah said Qatar has been and will always be supporting the choices of the Egyptian people, adding that Qatar will not deviate from this stance. 

On the reasons for the failure of the Arab League Observer Mission to Syria, Al Attiyah said that there was sincere desire in resolving the Syrian crisis within the Arab countries, but the Syrian regime didn’t cooperate with the Arab League envoy. This was the main reason behind the mission’s failure. On Qatar’s support for a GCC Union, the Foreign Minister said that the matter was raised in the beginning by Saudi Arabia, adding that Qatar was one of the first countries to support this idea.

“Qatar will always be supporting any idea that brings us closer to our brothers in the GCC,” he said.

Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al Hamad Al Sabah said that the leaders of the GCC have sincere desire to continue the march of the GCC countries as one of the most important tributaries in the joint Arab action. “This is what has been done recently” he said.

With regard to the third session of the Kuwaiti-Qatari Joint Higher Committee meeting, the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister said that two sides have signed a number of agreements in the fields of media, diplomacy and commerce.