09 June, 2017

GCC IN REVIEW 2 – 8 June

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A Weekly Publication of the main news surrounding the GCC States

Kingdom of Bahrain

Wednesday, 7 June—Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, reiterated the importance of Saudi-Bahraini friendship as the two countries respond to regional instability. During his trip the King also demonstrated his gratitude for Saudi support aimed at ensuring security and stability within Bahrain.  

Thursday, 8 June—Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, stated that a clear message from Doha, condemning Iran’s destabilising role in the region, constitutes a fundamental precondition to ease the diplomatic row between Qatar and fellow Arab countries. 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Wednesday, 7 June— Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, declared that the decisions taken by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and a number of Arab and Islamic countries against Qatar were in the interest of Qatar itself and the region as such measures aim at bringing back Qatar in the GCC camp Doha belongs to. Measures taken against Qatar evidence how the KSA is at the forefront in the fight against Iran-backed terrorism in the region. Despite positively acknowledging US desire to see the issue resolved, he stressed that Gulf states could resolve a row with Qatar amongst themselves without outside help.

Thursday, 8 June— US President Donald Trump publicly thanked King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud for Saudi efforts in countering terrorism and fighting those who fund terror groups. With regard to the ongoing Gulf diplomatic row, the US President expressed the importance of the Gulf being united for peace and security in the region.

State of Kuwait

Tuesday, 6 June— Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, leader of Kuwait requested to the Qatari Emir to postpone his speech to the nation. Such move comes as the Kuwaiti Emir attempts to bridge the diplomatic rift currently opposing Qatar and fellow Gulf Arab states.

Wednesday, 7 June—The Kuwaiti Emir arrived in Doha to discuss the ongoing Gulf row with Qatari leaders. The visit is part of the Emir’s effort to mediate the inter-Arab row after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Libya and the UAE cut ties with Qatar.  

Thursday, 8 June— Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah of Kuwait attempted to persuade Qatari leaders that a more Iran hostile position and the withdrawal of their support for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood are crucial steps to ease diplomatic tensions in the Gulf.

State of Qatar 

Tuesday, 6 June— Qatari citizens and residents emptied grocery stores in the capital Doha as Saudi Arabia blocked supply trucks from entering the country. 

Wednesday, 7 June—The Qatari riyal fell to an 11-year low against the US dollar in the spot market. Qatar’s financial markets are suffering severely due to concern about the long-term economic impact on Qatar of its diplomatic rift with other Gulf Arab states.

Thursday, 8 June— Libyan army spokesman, Colonel Ahmed al-Mesmari, revealed documents showing Qatar’s interference in Libya. Such revelations are likely to increase international political pressure on Qatar’s political establishment, accused by several Arab countries of supporting terrorism and undermining the stability of other states.

Friday, 9 June—Qatar's Foreign Minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, declared that the current Gulf row is very dangerous for the future of the GCC as an organization. 

Sultanate of Oman

Thursday, 8 June— Oman’s Foreign Minister,Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah,  affirmed the Sultanate's support for His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait, and his efforts to remove tensions in GCC relations. Oman is particularly concerned about the possible negative financial and economic impacts generated by the current diplomatic crisis in the Gulf.

United Arab Emirates

Thursday, 8 June— UAE Foreign Affairs Minister, Anwar Gargash, declared that a full economic embargo could be imposed on Qatar, if necessary. According to UAE authorities, Doha needs to respect its previous GCC commitments and change what can be described as policy of funding armed groups.