Gulf states come to consensus after rift

The participants agreed that policies of any individual GCC state should not affect the interests, security or stability of any other member state.

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Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council brokered a consensus Thursday after a rift that saw Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain withdraw their ambassadors from Qatar.

During a meeting in the Saudi capital Riyadh, GCC foreign ministers conducted a “comprehensive review of measures relating to foreign and security policies,” according to a statement from the Gulf group.


“[Participants] agreed to adopt measures that ensure working at a group level and that policies of any individual state should not affect the interests, security or stability of any other member state and without affecting the sovereignty of any of its states,” the statement said.

Last month, in an unprecedented split between Gulf Arab allies, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar, saying Doha had not implemented a GCC deal reached in Riyadh in November to avoid interfering in each other’s affairs.

The three countries, led by Saudi Arabia, accused Doha of interfering in the internal affairs of countries in the Gulf region by backing Islamist movements in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere. Qatar denied it interferes anywhere but vowed to stick to its foreign policy.

According to the GCC Thursday, “the foreign ministers stressed their government’s agreement to implement the Riyadh accord, the basic principles of which stem from the Gulf Cooperation Council’s core system.”

“They agreed on the importance of the careful implementation on what was agreed in order to safeguard all gains and accomplishments that have been achieved and to move … toward a phase of strong cohesion that can ensure overcoming obstacles and challenges and meet the hopes and aspiration of the citizens of each of the member states.”

The GCC statement also praised Kuwait, through the leadership of Kuwaiti Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, “to reach the desired results.”

Both Oman and Kuwait had reportedly been working to mend the rift between Qatar and its neighbors Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain.

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