Saudi, Bahraini and Emirati ambassadors return to Doha

Saudi, Bahraini and Emirati ambassadors return to Doha
Tensions between Qatar and other Gulf states have been resolved after an agreement was reached in Riyadh.
3 min read
20 November, 2014
GCC states have signed the Complementary Riyadh Agreement [Getty]

Saudi, Bahraini and Emirati ambassadors will return to Doha, as part of the Complementary Riyadh Agreement [AR]. 

The diplomats were withdrawn last March, marking the beginning of a serious eight-month diplomatic rift between Qatar and other Gulf States.

The agreement was reached during a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) meeting in the Saudi capital on Sunday 16 November. During the conference the decision was also made to hold a GCC [AR] summit on 9 December in Doha.

Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, began sending out official invitations to the summit on Tuesday.

The Qatari state news agency said he had sent a handwritten letter to the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, which included an official invitation to attend the summit.

King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa also received a similar letter on Tuesday. This means the summit has been approved, and that GCC leaders are discussing its agenda and desired outcomes.

Events over the past few days have dispelled fears of a return to the political crisis the Complementary Riyadh Agreement resolved.

High-level Qatari sources told al-Araby al-Jadeed the agreement: “Affirms and builds upon an agreement reached in Saudi Arabia in April, and does not contain any new articles, demands or obligations."

During the meeting in April that led to the first Riyadh agreement, GCC foreign ministers said their countries had agreed  “To adopt mechanisms that ensure actions are carried out in a collective framework, so no member states' policies affect the interests, security, stability or sovereignty of other countries, or interferes with their sovereignty.”

     Now we can focus on the important issue of building unity across the Gulf.
- Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi writer 

This was the first official announcement regarding the Riyadh Agreement, the full text of which has not been made public. Media speculation says it calls on GCC states: to ensure they to not interfere either directly or indirectly in the internal affairs of another member state; and not to support individuals or organisations that threaten the security and stability of a member state, either by direct security action, political influence, or by supporting hostile media.

On Monday 17 November, the emir of Qatar called Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz to discuss: “mutual relations between the two countries”.

In a statement issued by Qatar’s ministry of foreign affairs on Monday, Qatar affirmed its commitment to Gulf solidarity, and welcomed the results of the recent meeting in Riyadh.

Gulf media also welcomed the recent agreement reached between GCC member states, echoing sentiments being expressed on streets across the Gulf region.

In an interview with Rotana Khalijia television, Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi called on countries not to interfere in Qatar’s foreign policy arguing that it does not affect security in the Gulf. 

“Now the disagreement with Qatar has been resolved we can focus on the important issue of building unity across the Gulf. This can be achieved by creating a single currency and strengthening the Peninsula Shield Force, military cooperation between GCC states.”

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.

Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the original author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of al-Araby al-Jadeed, its editorial board or staff.