Pakistan welcomes revival of ties between Qatar, Saudi Arabia -led bloc
Pakistan welcomes the reduction in tensions between Qatar and its neighbours in the Arabian Gulf with foreign minister Qureshi holding talks over the phone with his counterparts in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
“Foreign Minister Qureshi appreciated the positive developments that led to a successful [Gulf Cooperation Council] Summit in al-Ula, Saudi Arabia,” said a statement on the call with the Qatari foreign minister.
“He hoped that the spirit of cooperation in the GCC Summit will augur well for enhanced confidence and cooperation among the countries of the organisation.”
Saudi Arabia announced earlier this week that there has been a restoration of ties with its northern neighbour Qatar. It comes after a three-and-a-half-year dispute which saw Saudi Arabia and its allies – the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt – cut both diplomatic and trade ties and enforced a land, sea and air block on the Gulf state.
The four countries agreed to restore full diplomatic and trade ties with Doha, the capital of Qatar, at a GCC summit in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi and its allies, three years ago, accused Qatar of supporting “terrorism” and being too close to Iran. An accusation Doha has consistently denied.
Among the demands of the four nations had been for Qatar to end its alleged support for the Muslim Brotherhood transnational political party, close Al Jazeera media network, downgrade diplomatic ties with Iran and shut a Turkish military base on Qatari soil.
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Doha refused to implement the demands at the time it appears none of the demands have been implemented as part of the rapprochement this week.
Qatar has agreed to freeze a series of lawsuits instituted at international fora against the blockading states.
On Thursday, the UAE announced it could resume trade and travel links with Doha as early as next week but that a resumption of diplomatic ties would require “rebuilding trust.”
Throughout the crisis, which led Qatar to rely on food and other imports from Turkey, Iran and other allies via sea and air, Pakistan – a close Saudi Arabian ally that also enjoys warm relations with Qatar – said it would act as a neutral party.
Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan and other officials often offered to mediate between the Gulf neighbours, although it is unclear if that offer was ever meaningfully taken up.
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