Rift in GCC not on Arab League summit agenda
The political crisis in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will not be taken up by the Arab summit to be hosted by Kuwait next week, a senior Arab League official has said.
Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates earlier this month pulled out their ambassadors to fellow GCC member Qatar after they complained that Doha was failing to comply with inter-Gulf agreements and accords.
Although Qatar did not reciprocate and kept its ambassadors in the three GCC capitals, tension has been ominously thickening amid media reports that the situation could escalate, unless the Arab League summit in Kuwait on Tuesday and Wednesday resolved it.
However, Arab League Deputy Secretary General Ahmad Bin Hilli on Wednesday evening denied the reports claiming the standoff would be on the agenda of the Arab summit.
“Some media outlets have reported that the Gulf dispute will be discussed (during the Arab summit) and this is not true,” Bin Hilli said in a statement carried by Kuwait News Agency (Kuna).
“The GCC is capable of addressing any dispute or misunderstanding among its members within the framework of its own procedures and the wisdom of its leaders,” he said.
The GCC, established in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi in May 1981, brings together Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The pan-Gulf alliance is the only regional Arab grouping in existence, having weathered the formidable onslaught of time and challenges.
Bin Hilli added that the GCC “has become a robust Arab institute and it is an important added value not only for its members, but also for the Arab League.” He hoped the dispute in the Gulf would be solved soon.
Arab League Secretary General Nabeel Al Araby on Monday said that the Gulf dispute would not be included in the Arab summit’s talks and that it was an internal Gulf affair.
Saud Al Faysal, the Saudi foreign minister, this week said that the crisis with Qatar would not be resolved until Doha readjusted its policy.
According to reports in Kuwait City, the Arab summit is most likely to focus on ways to enhance the Arab League, the establishment of an Arab court for human rights, the activation of the council for peace and security to address conflicts that could threaten Arab security, the setting up of a crisis management centre in cooperation with the European Union, the identification of goals to boost trade, ways to eliminate illiteracy and unemployment and improving the Arab League charter.
The foreign ministers are scheduled to hold a meeting on Monday to finalize the agenda.
On Saturday, the finance and economy ministers will meet in Kuwait City to review the major recommendations by their senior officials for the summit.
Yemen’s permanent representative to the Arab League Mohammad Al Haisami said that the summit will address the political situation in the region, especially Yemen’s post National Dialogue stage. It will also deal with the Palestinian cause and the Israeli attacks on Al Aqsa Mosque, as well as the latest developments in the Syrian crisis, Al Haisami said.
He added that the summit will review Arab cooperation in the fields of counterterrorism, security and economic relations.
Al Haisami added that the recommendations of the Arab Foreign Ministers meeting held last week in Cairo underlined the importance of implementing the outcomes of the National Dialogue, to be drafted in a new constitution.
The Arab League’s decisions at all levels emphasise the commitment of its members to preserve Yemen’s unity, respect its sovereignty and independence and reject any external interference in Yemen’s internal affairs, he said.