Pakistan hopes that the “spirit of cooperation” within the GCC will “bode well for increased confidence” among the Gulf countries.
Islamabad, Pakistan – Pakistan welcomed a reduction in tensions between Qatar and its neighbors in the Persian Gulf, with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi speaking by telephone with his counterparts in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Qureshi on Thursday met with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani.
“Foreign Minister Qureshi appreciated the positive developments which led to a [Gulf Cooperation Council] Summit in al-Ula, Saudi Arabia, ”said a statement during the call with Qatar’s foreign minister.
“He hopes that the spirit of cooperation at the GCC Summit bodes well for increased trust and cooperation among the countries of the organization.”
Saudi Arabia on Monday announced the restoration of relations with its northern neighbor, Qatar, after a three-and-a-half-year diplomatic row that saw the kingdom and its allies – the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt – sever diplomatic and trade relations and impose a land, sea and air blockade on the Gulf State.
A day later, the four countries agreed to fully restore diplomatic and trade ties with Doha at a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in al-Ula, Saudi Arabia.
Qatar was accused three years ago by the blockade countries of supporting “terrorism” and of being too close to its regional rival, Iran. Doha has always denied the charges.
Among the quartet’s demands were that Qatar end its alleged support for the transnational Muslim Brotherhood political party, shut down the Al Jazeera media network, downgrade diplomatic relations with Iran and close a Turkish military base on Qatari soil.
Doha refused to implement the requests at the time and none appear to have been implemented as part of the reconciliation this week.
Qatar has agreed to freeze a series of lawsuits brought in international forums against blocking states.
UAE said on Thursday it could resume trade and travel ties with Doha from next week but that a resumption of diplomatic relations would require “restoring confidence”.
Throughout the crisis, which forced Qatar to depend on food and other imports from Turkey, Iran and other allies by sea and air, Pakistan – a close ally of Saudi Arabia which also enjoys warm relations with Qatar – said it would act as a neutral party. .
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and other officials have often offered to mediate between Gulf neighbors, although it is uncertain whether the offer was ever meaningfully accepted.