Egypt signs agreement for Arab reconciliation with Qatar at GCC summit

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Tuesday the al-Ula Agreement for Arab reconciliation with Qatar.

The agreement was signed by Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states during the 41st GCC summit held in Saudi Arabia.

“This comes within the framework of Egypt’s constant keenness to [achieve] solidarity among the Arab quartet states and in their orientation towards consolidating ranks, and removing any disagreements among brotherly Arab nations,” a foreign ministry statement read.

Saudi Arabia led a coalition of an Arab quartet, including the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt that severed ties and transport links with Qatar in June 2017, charging that it was too close to Iran and backed terrorist groups – allegations Doha has always denied.

Egypt signed the agreement, aiming to “enhance Arab joint work in the face of the significant challenges the region is witnessing,” the ministry added.

The statement said: “the need to build on this step to enhance joint Arab work and enhance relations between Arab nations, based on goodwill and non-interference in the Arab countries’ domestic affairs.”

“Egypt values all honest efforts made over the past years, especially by Kuwait, to achieve reconciliation between the countries of the Arab Quartet and Qatar.”

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced at the GCC summit that the Gulf states had signed an agreement on regional “solidarity and stability”, aiming to resolve a three-year embargo against Qatar.

Leaders of the six-member GCC signed two documents, the Al-Ula declaration, which was named after the Saudi city where the summit was held, and a final communique.

The contents of the declaration and the communique are expected to be released to the press later.

“An agreement has been reached to open airspace and land and sea borders between Saudi Arabia and Qatar as of this evening,” Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Ahmad Nasser al-Sabah said Monday on Kuwait TV ahead of the summit.