AL-ULA, Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan (right) speaks during the news conference. – KUNA

AL-ULA, Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Tuesday appreciated Kuwait’s late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and incumbent Amir His Highness Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s efforts to iron out Gulf differences. Speaking in a joint news conference with GCC Secretary General Nayef Al-Hajraf following the 41st summit hosted by the Saudi city of Al-Ula, Prince Farhan said the signing of the Al-Ula Declaration and the summit’s final communique signals the start of a new chapter in pan-Gulf relations and a full restoration of diplomatic ties between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt to serve the countries’ interests and support the region’s stability.

He emphasized that the Al-Ula Declaration included the commitment of all countries to settling all relevant issues and strengthening mutual cooperation and coordination, particularly in combating terrorism and all organized crimes. The key guarantee for implementing this declaration is the real will of the countries to solve this crisis and reach an actual cohesion to boost the region’s stability and address challenges, he said.

The Saudi top diplomat added that it is a key step for the success and stability of the GCC states, Egypt and the whole region. He noted that the states parties have affirmed their solidarity towards each other and committed to refraining from violating the sovereignty of any country or threaten its security or national unity.They also vowed to stand against any threat to the security of any of the signing countries and of the whole region, he pointed out.

Tuesday’s summit was important as it prioritized supreme interests of the GCC system and the Arab national security, he said. The summit has delivered a message to the world that whatever the differences are, the wisdom of GCC leaders is able to overcome all these differences, and steer the region, its states and peoples to safety, he stressed. On Iran, Prince Faisal said all US administrations are aware of danger of Iran, noting that there will be coordination with US-elect Joe Biden’s administration to better deal with it.

Meanwhile, Dr Hajraf said “it is a historic day to witness this key step in the GCC path.” Trusting the wisdom of GCC’s leaders is the guarantee to continue the Gulf relations, and the most important principle is the sincere desire in this regard, he said. What has been achieved today was a result of great efforts to help the GCC path move forward to face all geopolitical challenges and others like the novel coronavirus, he pointed out.

The Al-Ula Declaration paves the way for a full integration in all domains to complete all efforts made over the last 40 years, he made clear. Last year was a challenging year and its economic effects will continue for a long period, he said, noting that the GCC states offered packages to encourage small-sized projects and the private sector to secure workers’ salaries. He affirmed that the GCC states have a strong financial ratings, and thus they attract big investments. Finally, he stressed the importance of the economic cooperation in the fifth decade of the GCC.

Separately, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Abdulrahman Al Thani appreciated Kuwait’s big efforts to iron out the rift and re-unify the Gulf States. Tweeting on his official account, the minister hoped that Al-Ula agreement signed earlier in the day in Saudi Arabia would help achieve further progress and prosperity for the Gulf countries. He stressed Qatar’s opening of a new page in the Gulf ties. He emphasized that his country is also looking forward to bolster joint Arab and Gulf action to achieve common interests, overcome challenges and retain the region’s stability and security. – KUNA