Jeddah meet ‘resolves’ envoy row

August 31, 2014 - 2:30:45 am
The Foreign Minister H E Dr Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah at the 132nd session of the GCC Ministerial Council in Jeddah yesterday.

DOHA: The diplomatic deadlock between Qatar and its three GCC peers — Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain — is likely to end soon, with Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister saying that the ambassadors of the three countries could return to Doha “any moment”, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported yesterday.

The issue was discussed at length at the meeting of the foreign ministers of the GCC states (held in Jeddah yesterday) and the terms and criteria for the return of the envoys have been agreed upon.

Addressing a joint news conference after the meeting with Dr Abdul Lateef Al Zayani, Secretary-General of the GCC, Sheikh Sabah Al Khaled Al Hamad Al Sabah, Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, said the GCC had put a mechanism in place for overcoming the previous obstacles and as a result the return of the ambassadors could happen any moment. 

“The spirit that we saw at the meeting was very positive and brotherly. The leaders realise it too well that they must remain united to confront the challenges facing the GCC region,” said Al Zayani.

He said that all the GCC states are pained by the diplomatic crisis and they are keen that it ends soon. “We will follow up on what has been agreed upon today (yesterday),” said the Secretary-General.

He said the Gulf Cooperation Council was set up 33 years ago and things have always been perfect. Some differences have cropped up but they wouldn’t hinder the unity and the “GCC process”.

Al Zayani said that Yemen’s Foreign Minister Dr Jamal Al Salal was also invited to the meeting to discuss the latest developments in his country.

About the speech made by US President Barack Obama regarding the creation of a coalition to face terrorist threat and the role that US Secretary of State John Kerry will play in this regard, Al Sabah said that the GCC is waiting to find out more about the coalition and its goals. “We do not have enough details about Obama’s proposal,” he said. 

About a joint Egyptian-GCC initiative to resolve the Syrian crisis, the Kuwaiti First Deputy Prime Minister said that the Syrian crisis is a priority for the Council, adding that the Council is pained by the deterioration of the situation in Syria. He added that this issue will be discussed at an upcoming Arab League ministerial meeting on September 7.

Meanwhile, in a joint communiqué issued at the end of the Jeddah meeting, the GCC states have decided to proceed with their joint works. A report was tabled at the meeting about the advancement in the regional railway project.

A report was also presented about a GCC-wide water network. However, its details were not mentioned in the communiqué.

The meeting condemned terror activities in Syria, especially Al Nusra front and the IS and called for imposing sanctions on individuals associated with the outfits.