Gulf state ambassadors to return to Qatar

Gulf state ambassadors to return to Qatar

The statement heralded the “opening of a new page” in relations with the reinstatement of ambassadors.

By (Agencies)

Published: Mon 17 Nov 2014, 8:54 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 5:35 AM

Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid and General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed with Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz at Riyadh Airbase on Sunday. —Wam

Riyadh — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain said on Monday they will reinstate their ambassadors to Qatar after withdrawing them in an unprecedented move eight months ago.

Earlier, leaders includingHis Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces; and the Amirs of Kuwait and Qatar arrived in Riyadh on Sunday to attend a previously unannounced meeting of Gulf leaders aimed at resolving differences with Doha.

Local media reported last week that leaders of the six-nation alliance, which also includes Oman, were expected to hold a meeting ahead of their annual summit in Doha on December 9-10, in a last-ditch bid to overcome internal differences.

Amir of Kuwait Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah has been leading a mediation effort to bridge the gap between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council had been rattled by the rift in relations that was widely seen as a result of Qatar’s support for groups like the Brotherhood throughout the region. The UAE and Saudi Arabia perceive the Brotherhood as a threat to their political systems. Both have branded the 86 year-old organisation as a “terrorist group”.

State media and government-linked commentators across the Gulf had been calling for an end to the diplomatic spat in the face of emerging threats from the ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

The decision to reinstate ambassadors came after rulers of the GCC member-states met in an emergency session in Saudi Arabia late Sunday.

The GCC leadership said the meeting was called to “consolidate the spirit of sincere cooperation, to confirm the mutual destiny and aspirations of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the unity of its people and close rapprochement.”

The statement, released after midnight on Monday, heralded the “opening of a new page” in relations with the reinstatement of ambassadors. The move paves the way for the GCC’s annual summit to be held in Doha, Qatar next month.

A regional security agreement drawn up late last year had called on Qatar to stop supporting organisations that threaten the Gulf’s stability and to stop interfering in other nations’ politics. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain said in March that withdrawing their ambassadors was a move to protect their security.

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