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Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Egypt signs al-Ula agreement for Arab reconciliation with Qatar at GCC summit

Egypt's foreign ministry affirmed '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'

Ahram Online , Tuesday 5 Jan 2021
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Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry attends a news conference after the meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud at Tahrir Palace in Cairo, Egypt July 27, 2020. (Reuters)
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Egypt Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry signed the al-Ula agreement for Arab reconciliation with Qatar, which was signed by Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states during the 41st GCC summit held on Tuesday 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,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia led a coalition of an Arab quartet including the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt that cut 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 also to “enhance Arab joint work in the face of the significant challenges the region is witnessing,” the ministry said.

The statement affirmed “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 on Tuesday at the GCC summit that the Gulf states had signed an agreement on regional "solidarity and stability" aimed at resolving a three-year embargo against Qatar.

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

The contents of the declaration and the communique were 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," Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Ahmad Nasser al-Sabah said Monday on Kuwait TV ahead of the summit.

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