Messages of the 42nd Gulf Summit... Confirmation of Reconciliation and Enhancement of Integration
Leaders at Gulf Council Summit in Riyadh (File Photo)

The 42nd Gulf Summit, in Riyadh on Tuesday, sent “important and clear messages” emphasizing turning the page on the dispute, promoting integration and unifying positions among the six Gulf Cooperation Council states, according to two Qatari writers.

The summit was dominated by an atmosphere of cordiality and harmony among the leaders, stating that the Gulf states opened a new page of cooperation and strategic integration and that they implemented what was agreed upon at the Al-Ula summit in Saudi Arabia, last January 5.

The 41st Al-Ula summit ended on that day, in contrast to the outbreak of the summer of 2017 between Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt on one side and Qatar on the other, which is the most difficult since the establishment of the Cooperation Council in 1981.

The positive atmosphere of the Riyadh Summit was reflected in the emphasis on the need for collective action to face challenges, maintain the cohesion of the Cooperation Council and the unity of ranks, and achieve integration between Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait and the Sultanate of Oman.

The summit was chaired by the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, on behalf of the Saudi monarch, and was attended by the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the King of Bahrain, King Hamad bin Isa, the Vice President of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and the Kuwaiti Crown Prince, Sheikh Mishaal Al Ahmad Al Jaber. and Deputy Prime Minister of Oman, Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said.

Close the dispute

Abdullah Ghanem Al-Binali Al-Mohannadi, editor-in-chief of the Qatari newspaper Al-Raya, told The Eastern Herald that “the summit meeting represents a bright point in the course of the Gulf Cooperation Council.”

He explained that “the summit embodied the will of the leaders of the Gulf states to enhance the strength, cohesion, and unity of the Gulf ranks, and emphasized adherence to the principles of the Council on which it was established, in order to achieve the aspirations of the peoples of the member states.”

He continued, “The Riyadh announcement came with positive results and important and clear messages for the peoples of the region to turn the page on the dispute and open a new page for reconciliation, cooperation, consultation, and coordination at the highest levels to enhance security, stability, renaissance, development, and prosperity of the GCC states.”

And he added: “In addition to crystallizing a unified position towards the issues that afflict the region and the historical turning points in the world, the Gulf states are not isolated from them, foremost of which is the Palestinian issue and Iranian interference in the affairs of some countries.”

Al-Mohannadi said that “the positive atmosphere at the summit formed a strong impetus to open a new page of cooperation and strategic integration, to complement the outcomes of the Al-Ula summit, which restored the momentum of Gulf relations to its previous era.”

He added, “The Riyadh summit constitutes a new launch for economic, security, political and diplomatic cooperation, an emphasis on maintaining regional and global security and stability, and unifying positions and visions regarding important files and issues.”

At the forefront of these issues, according to Al-Mohannadi, “the Palestinian cause and confronting the Iranian-backed Houthi militias (in Yemen), as well as developments in Afghanistan and many countries in the region, and unifying efforts to limit the repercussions of the Corona virus.”

The summit was dominated by an atmosphere of cordiality and harmony among the leaders, stating that the Gulf states opened a new page of cooperation and strategic integration and that they implemented what was agreed upon at the Al-Ula summit in Saudi Arabia, last January 5.

He added, “We were pleased with the contents of the final statement of the summit, approving the establishment of the Gulf Railways Authority, praising the upgrading of the presidency of the Qatari-Saudi Coordination Council, and welcoming the positive results of the council’s meeting.”

Al-Mohannadi said that it was remarkable to pay tribute to the success of organizing the Arab FIFA World Cup Qatar 2021 (for football teams), which will be hosted by Qatar between November 30 and December 18, and for the outstanding organization and efforts it made to make the tournament a success.

And he added, “Also, the GCC countries are looking forward to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and the GCC countries’ support for Doha in everything that would lead to the success of hosting the tournament (for the first time in the Middle East), as well as praising the support provided by Qatar, represented by donating $90 million. Dollars to Yemen through the World Food Program.

He added, “We look forward to the return of Gulf cohesion to its former glory, thanks to the wisdom of the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and even strengthening and refining the Council as an integrated system based on solid foundations of cooperation, brotherhood, and coordination, to continue the process of cooperation, unity and joint Gulf action towards promising horizons of achievements.”

Achieving stability and development

While the Qatari writer, Khalid bin Muhammad Al Buainain, told: “There is no doubt that reconciliation is better than disagreement, and rapprochement will increase the region’s security, peace, prosperity, and stability, and will bring goodness, prosperity and public interest to all parties.”

He continued, “We really need reconciliation and rapprochement and the restoration of the course of economic and political relations, and this will be in the interest of everyone in the region, especially in the circumstances of Corona, which affected the economies of the whole world.”

Al-Buainain added that “high-level coordination between Gulf leaders would crystallize a unified position towards the issues that the world is currently experiencing, and the Gulf countries are not isolated from them.”

And he added, “The Gulf countries need to enhance cooperation in all fields, at a time when the world is witnessing many challenges that require coordination and joint cooperation to confront them, which would achieve stability and development for the one Gulf house.”

He stressed that “the Gulf Cooperation Council, as a leading regional organization, has the ability to solve the region’s issues and coordinate Gulf stances towards the challenges facing this strategic region of the world.”

He added that “the Riyadh summit renewed its position that any attack on a member state is an attack on all its members, as the leaders agreed to “emphasize the contents of Article Two of the Mutual Defense Agreement that the member states of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf consider that any attack on Any of them is an attack on them all, and any threat to one threatens them all.”

The position of Iran

The announcement of the Riyadh summit stated that the Gulf Cooperation Council looks forward to “the new Iranian administration having a positive role in easing tension and building confidence between the Gulf Cooperation Council and Iran, according to bases previously approved by the Council and reported to the Iranian side,” without clarification.

And he expressed “concern over the escalatory steps taken by Iran to destabilize regional security and stability.”

He stressed “the council’s readiness to cooperate and deal seriously and effectively with the Iranian nuclear file, in a way that contributes to achieving common goals and interests within the framework of respect for sovereignty and good-neighborly policies.”

Iran faces Gulf accusations of having an expansionist agenda in the region, interfering in the internal affairs of Arab countries, such as Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq, and seeking to produce nuclear weapons, while Tehran says it is committed to good neighborly relations, and that its nuclear program is designed for peaceful purposes.

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