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FM: Rebuilding GCC trust will take time

Storyline:National News, Politics

Doha:  Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said yesterday that it will take a “lot of time” to rebuild any trust between sparring Gulf countries because of the region’s continuing diplomatic crisis.

As the impasse between Doha and four Arab states led by Saudi Arabia entered its 11th week, the Foreign Minister said regional relations had been transformed by the dispute.
“Qatar has always been one of the founders of the GCC organisation and we still consider that this has a great importance for all of us in the region,” he told reporters.
Created in 1981, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a political and economic union comprised of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
“This organisation has been built on a strategical security and been built on trust. Unfortunately, what happened lately with this crisis, this factor is missing now and needs a lot of time to rebuild the trust again.
“We hope that it’s restored.”
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt cut ties with Qatar on June 5 and imposed sanctions including restrictions on Qatari aircraft using their airspace.
The Foreign Minister added that the conflict was unnecessary. “Such a crisis is not needed in our region, we have enough problems and enough conflict. “A region like the Gulf region, which was considered the most stable region in the Arab world is now destabilised because… of a crisis without a solid foundation.” However, he added that diplomatic efforts led by regional mediator Kuwait were continuing.
“We have received a letter from the Emir of Kuwait a few days ago. And this letter is a continuous effort… to encourage the parties to engage in dialogue.”
Despite this, Sheikh Mohammed said Qatar was still waiting to hear from its rivals.
“Put up your claims and put up your evidence. We told them (Saudi-led countries) anywhere you want, whatever evidence you have, just put it on the table.
“Now its been 72 days since the first day of their measures and we have not been provided with a single document.”