Gulf reconciliation is a new page, win for GCC: Qatar Foreign Minister
January 08 2021 12:44 AM
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani during the Al Jazeera interview


The Gulf reconciliation is a new page, which is a victory for the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) and the advancement of its people, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said on Thursday.

"The Al-Ula Declaration aims to transcend the disagreement and lay down rules for dealing with wisdom in the future relationship between states parties," he explained in an interview with Al Jazeera.

"The Al-Ula statement is about clear fundamentals related to non-infringement of state sovereignty. We agreed on solidarity in combating terrorism and collective action to bridge the gap and the dispute.

"The declaration is not a secret agreement, but rather related to the basic principles that I mentioned, and the specific rules are respect for the national sovereignty of each state party.

"The understandings of 2014 were taken in different circumstances and that of 2017 are different also. There were ongoing discussions for three months, with the participation of the US and Kuwait, and the statement of Kuwait on January 4 was to reach a decision about which all parties were consulted.

"We have seen a real will from Saudi Arabia to heal the rift, and we value the efforts of the late Amir of Kuwait and the current Amir of Kuwait. We are not dealing with imposing conditions of one state upon another, but we are rather in the service of the GCC system and laying down basic principles for wise interaction in the future.

"There will be steps taken by the four countries, and when matters return to normal, these measures will be withdrawn in the event of a return to what was before June 5, 2017. The success of the summit is not a success for any state party, it is a success for everyone, and all parties were willing for the success for the GCC.

"We felt a real will from Saudi Arabia at the summit and a true welcome, and moving forward is our path in the future. This reconciliation is for all the GCC and Saudi Arabia represented all parties, and everyone participated, and everyone signed.

"There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia has its size and weight in the region, and Qatar wants to talk to all parties, and Saudi Arabia represented all parties. Qatar does not want to have a crisis with any of the state parties.

"The differences between Qatar and the states parties are not the same and will be discussed within the framework of bilateral committees. The process will take its time to rebuild bridges between people, and we welcome constructive steps.

"Social media participated in a negative way during the crisis and we call on all parties to be responsible in the future. The issue of Al Jazeera was not discussed. Al Jazeera is an independent media institution and we are proud of its presence in Qatar, and its media professionals. We respect freedom of expression and the responsible professional media, and it must be dealt with positively and constructively by other countries.

"The US has made efforts to solve the crisis, and Jared Kushner has worked with us and with all parties and their efforts, and so did Kuwait. The US was enthusiastic because they want the GCC countries to be united and any crisis affects them.

"The GCC countries do not want to be a contributor to an escalation against Iran or against any other country and the region does not tolerate escalation. If we look at what happened between the US and Iran, we want to solve this crisis diplomatically and without resorting to military action.

"Iran is a neighbouring country and has a respected role in opening up skies and what it has provided with regard to ports (during the crisis). There are differences of opinion and the GCC is a space for understanding and there must be an environment for consultation.

"Decisions taken by states are sovereign and within the GCC there are agreements between states. Official messages from the US say that they do not want an escalation with Iran, neither does Iran, and we are afraid of any actions that lead to escalation and any mistake that could happen.

"Turkey is a strategic ally of Qatar, and bilateral relations are taken according to the sovereign decision of the state. They are not discussed in the GCC, and if there are problems between a state and Turkey, we try to find a solution for it between the two countries.

"The Abraham Accords is a sovereign decision and we do not interfere in sovereign decisions. Qatar believes that if Israel is committed to peace, to end the occupation, the two-state solution, and the state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, and if there is Arab approval, we accept that.

"The past three and a half years were not easy, and it is normal that there are difficulties. By returning to the principles that were agreed upon, we look to the future," he adde

Last updated: January 08 2021 01:20 AM

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