The Saudi foreign minister lauded the Al Ula agreement that ended the 2017 Gulf crisis for its effectiveness in strengthening Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] ties.
Relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar are very good and that the two Gulf nations were working closely together on a number of issues, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud said on Tuesday.
“We continue to work together primarily to strengthen the GCC countries. We both believe that along with the other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, this is an essential component of stability not only for the Arab Gulf but for the entire region,” the Saudi FM said addressing a virtual gathering of the Aspen Security Forum.
In a statement regarding the GCC relations, Al-Saud said the Al Ula Agreement which ended the 2017 Gulf crisis and lifted the illegal air, land and sea blockade on Qatar, has paved the way to resolving disputes between the members states and enhanced coordination in the Gulf Cooperation Council.
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“We will continue to work for that: reaping the fruits of that unity for the people of the region,” he added.
In June, Qatar’s foreign minister received Prince Mansour bin Khalid bin Farhan Al Saud, Saudi Arabia’s first ambassador to Doha since 2017.
Return of ties
The 2017 dispute has been described as the worst crisis in the history of the GCC. However, since the signing of the declaration in January, ties between Saudi Arabia and Qatar have continued to warm after years of tensions.
Diplomats and officials of both countries have held regular meetings both in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, with travel resuming to normal for citizens.
There have also been regular phone conversations and meetings between Qatar’s Amir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Back in January, a public and warm embrace between the two during Amir Tamim’s first trip to the neighbouring kingdom in three years, instantly signalled the return of somewhat normal ties.