DOHA (Sputnik) – The Saudi-hosted 41st Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit will promote peace and unity in the region against the backdrop of common challenges, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Tuesday.
“The Gulf Cooperation Council summit will consolidate the ranks and enhance peace and prosperity, supporting the pursuit of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, the King of Saudi Arabia and his brothers, as well as the Gulf state leaders, to unite in tackling the challenges facing our region”, the crown prince said in a statement.
The summit will begin later in the day. For the first time since 2017, it will be attended by Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani — a symbolic sign to the end of a fierce diplomatic feud between the Gulf monarchies.
The Kuwaiti foreign minister earlier announced that Qatari Emir al-Thani and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had agreed to sign a deal to end the standoff between their countries during a summit on Tuesday.
“The Kuwaiti emir held phone talks on Monday night with the Qatari emir and the Saudi crown prince, who affirmed their commitment to strengthening brotherly relations between countries in the region. They agreed to sign a pact at the end of the summit in Al Ula that will settle all conflict issues”, Foreign Minister Ahmed Nasser Al-Sabah said in a televised statement, adding Riyadh will lift a three-and-a-half-year-long sea, air, and land blockade of Qatar ahead of the summit.
Qatar has been under a diplomatic and economic blockade since June 2017, when Saudi Arabia and other monarchies accused it of meddling and sponsoring terrorism. Doha has consistently denied the accusations, insisting discontent with its economic successes was behind their hostile policies.
The reconciliation was brokered by the United States, especially by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, who is expected to attend the GCC summit.