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Kuwait emir hopeful of healing rift in GCC

Sabah calls for diligent endeavours to protect GCC

Image Credit: Al Rai
Shaikh Sabah delivering his speech
Gulf News

Manama: Kuwait’s Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah has expressed hope the rift among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states will be healed through dialogue.

In his annual speech marking the last 10 days of the fasting month of Ramadan, Shaikh Sabah said that he was looking forward to a remedy to the situation in the Gulf based on dialogue and communication, taking into consideration the deep-rooted ties, close family bonds, shared interests and a common destiny for the GCC member states.

“Such features compel us to work diligently together to protect the Gulf entity,” Shaikh Sabah said.

The GCC, established in 1981, comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

On June 5, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE severed their diplomatic relations with Qatar, saying they wanted to protect their national security and stability.

The three countries along with Egypt and several other nations said that Qatar had failed to comply with the provisions of the Riyadh Declaration, an official document signed by Qatar and the other five members of the GCC in 2014 that include common commitments to combating terrorism and extremism and common stances towards threats to the region.

Manama, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi said that Doha this time would have to fully adhere to the principles of the declaration if it were to continue its close political, social, economic and cultural ties with them. They closed their airspace, airports and seaports to planes and ships registered in Qatar, and asked their citizens to leave Qatar and Qataris to leave. The three countries insisted they would keep up their boycott until a final solution is reached and stressed that they were not targeting the people of Qatar but rather their country’s policy.

Bahrain said that Qatari officials had conspired with the opposition in the 2011 crisis that hit the kingdom. On Friday evening, Bahrain TV played a secretly recorded phone conversation between a senior Qatari adviser and a member of an opposition society that supported its statement about the conspiracy.