In phone calls to Saudi and Qatari FMs, Qureshi appreciates 'successful' GCC summit

Published January 7, 2021
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi held telephonic conversations with his Saudi and Qatari counterparts. — Foreign Office/File
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi held telephonic conversations with his Saudi and Qatari counterparts. — Foreign Office/File

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Thursday called his Saudi and Qatari counterparts to appreciate this week's "successful" Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit that resulted in the full restoration of ties between Doha and the four nations that severed relations with it in a rift that began over three years ago.

Gulf powerhouse Saudi Arabia announced the breakthrough in ending the bitter dispute at a summit on Tuesday, with its foreign minister saying Riyadh and its allies would restore all ties with Qatar suspended in mid-2017.

In his conversation with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Qureshi congratulated him on holding a successful GCC summit in Al-Ula and appreciated "the positive role played by Saudi Arabia in the resolution of outstanding issues among the members of the GCC", a Foreign Office statement said.

Know more: Gulf countries welcome Qatar back into fold

The minister expressed the hope that the "spirit of cooperation" exhibited at the summit will promote confidence and cooperation among the GCC countries and will also contribute towards enhanced regional peace, security and development, it added.

Foreign Minister Qureshi also thanked the Kingdom for its support during the 47th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Niamey, in November last year, in particular for the adoption of OIC resolutions on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and combating Islamophobia.

The two ministers discussed ways to further deepen and expand bilateral relations and collaborate closely in multilateral organisations.

"They also agreed to continue mutual consultations on regional and global issues of common interest," the press release said, adding that Qureshi looked forward to receiving the Saudi foreign minister in Islamabad soon.

Qureshi also called Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. During the conversation, he appreciated the "positive developments that led to a successful GCC summit", and expressed the optimism that the spirit of cooperation in the meeting will augur well for enhanced confidence and cooperation among the countries of the organisation.

Qureshi also acknowledged the "constructive and supportive" role played by Qatar towards the Afghan peace process, a second FO statement said.

The two foreign ministers discussed ways to further strengthen and diversify bilateral relations and enhance collaboration in multilateral organisations. They also agreed to continue engaging on regional and global issues and working to further strengthen bilateral ties.

Three GCC members — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, alongside Egypt, had cut ties and transport links with Qatar in June 2017, charging that it was too close to Iran and backed radical Islamist groups — allegations that Doha denied.

But on Tuesday, the Gulf leaders signed a “solidarity and stability” deal after the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Qatar publicly embraced, bringing Doha back into the regional fold.

The countries that were part of the boycott, along with Oman and Kuwait which mediated between the two sides, signed the rapprochement deal after Riyadh overnight re-opened its land, sea and air borders with Qatar.

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