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End of Qatar blockade is ‘a win for the area’: Saudi international minister

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The finish of the Gulf dispute is a win for the area, Saudi Arabia’s international minister advised CNBC after asserting that relations between Qatar and 4 Arab international locations have been absolutely restored.

Leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Egypt on Tuesday signed an settlement that goals to strengthen unity and cohesion. The deal got here greater than three years after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a commerce and journey blockade on Qatar.

“We were able to reach the Al-Ula declaration which puts behind us a dispute … among the four countries and Qatar,” stated Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud, Saudi Arabia’s minister of international affairs, referring to the settlement named after the traditional metropolis of Al-Ula the place leaders of the Arab nations met.

The area plunged right into a disaster in 2017, when Saudi Arabia and its allies reduce off diplomatic and commerce ties with Qatar, accusing the tiny gas-rich nation of being too near Iran and supporting terrorism. Doha has denied these allegations.

We imagine very strongly that the Al-Ula declaration resolves all the excellent points and issues that the international locations’ events would have had.

Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud

Saudi Arabia’s international minister

Saudi Arabia on Monday opened its airspace, land and sea borders to Qatar. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomed Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, with a hug when the latter arrived on Saudi soil.

Al-Saud stated he thinks the deal can be a “very, very strong basis” for regional stability going ahead.

Asked if it was a win for the outgoing Trump administration, al-Saud stated: “I think this agreement racks up a win for the region, first of all, a win for all of us.”

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud holds a press conferece on the finish of the 41st Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit, within the metropolis of al-Ula in northwestern Saudi Arabia on January 5, 2021.

Fayez Nureldine | AFP | Getty Images

Still, he acknowledged assist from the U.S. and Kuwait, which has been mediating between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. “Absolutely, President Trump and (White House senior advisor) Jared Kushner contributed to reaching this agreement, working very closely with Kuwait, who has been working on this for some time,” he advised CNBC’s Hadley Gamble.

Not about Iran or Washington

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stated on Tuesday that GCC unity is required to counter challenges within the area, “particularly the threats posed by the Iranian regime’s nuclear program,” in line with Arab News.

Foreign minister al-Saud advised CNBC the deal is for the nice of the area’s safety. “This agreement is not about Iran or about anyone else. It’s about bringing our countries together and making sure that we work together to deliver prosperity and security for our people.”

When requested if Saudi Arabia could also be making an attempt to get into President-elect Joe Biden’s good graces earlier than the inauguration, he stated: “This isn’t about Washington, it’s about the region and the priorities that our countries have.”

Biden is anticipated to roll again U.S. assist for the dominion when he takes workplace.

The Saudi international minister stated the Gulf nations will cooperate on safety points in addition to financial integration.

“We believe very strongly that the Al-Ula declaration resolves all of the outstanding issues and concerns that the countries’ parties would have had, and that it lays the basis for now a very strong, cooperative agenda for the GCC, and also for the region,” he stated.

‘First step’

However, one diplomat referred to as for warning.

Michael Greenwald, former U.S. Treasury attache to Qatar and Kuwait, stated the settlement was only a “first step.”

“This is a political resolution,” he advised CNBC’s “Capital Connection” on Wednesday. He stated the opening of airspace is useful forward of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, and the nations wish to “boost themselves economically” whereas getting ready for a brand new U.S. administration.

But Greenwald, who can also be a director at funding administration agency Tiedemann Advisors, stated extra must be finished. “There needs to be a much stronger, detailed framework put in place so that this does not happen again,” he stated.

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