Saudi FM hails “new chapter” in Gulf as crisis with Qatar ends

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Tuesday hailed end of the Gulf crisis with Qatar as a “new chapter” for the Gulf’s security and stability.

The Al-Ula Declaration signed on Tuesday at the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit, held in the Saudi city Al-Ula, ended the dispute of the Saudi-led Arab camp with Qatar, the Saudi top diplomat was quoted by Al Arabiya TV as saying.

He said that the accomplishment was “a new chapter” to promote security and stability in the region.

The foreign minister made the remarks while addressing a press conference after the summit, highlighting the commitment of concerned countries to tackle all topics of the declaration through negotiations.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud stressed, while chairing the summit, the importance of the Al-Ula Declaration for the solidarity and stability in the Gulf.

He said that the declaration would strengthen the bonds of friendship and brotherhood among GCC member countries and peoples to serve their aspirations.

Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah praised the historic achievement by signing the Al-Ula Declaration, which he called as “the Solidarity Agreement” that reflects keenness on the unity of the Arab nation.

A Saudi-led Arab quartet, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in June 2017 and imposed a full embargo on the Gulf state, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism. Qatar has repeatedly denied all the charges.

The end of the crisis started on Monday with the decision by Saudi Arabia to reopen its airspace and borders to Qatar.

The 41st GCC Supreme Council session was attended by Gulf leaders, and senior officials from the U.S., Arab and Islamic organizations, including Senior Advisor to U.S. President Jared Kushner, Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Yousef Al-Othaimeen, and Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

Egypt also took part in the meeting, represented by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.