Gulf leaders show unanimous support for Morocco over the Sahara

Tuesday's GCC summit also led to the end of the confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Qatar
Atalayar_CumbreConsejo de Cooperación del Golfo

REUTERS/AHMED YOSRI  -   Overview of the 41st Summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

During the 41st summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) held in the Al-Ula region of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, the leaders of the Gulf countries discussed matters concerning Morocco. During this session, the importance of the strategic partnership between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Cooperation Council was highlighted.

They also called for an intensification of efforts for the cooperation plans that had been agreed in the framework of the strategic partnership between the two parties. Likewise, the Gulf leaders reiterated their support for Morocco's territorial integrity with regard to the recent events that had taken place in relation to Western Sahara. 

Specifically, they praised Rabat's peaceful actions to lift the blockade on El Guerguerat, near Morocco's border with Mauritania. Where Morocco, in order to lift a three-week blockade established by Polisario, deployed its Royal Armed Forces on 13 November 2020. Polisario members obstructed commercial and civilian traffic between Mauritania and Morocco at this point. 

Following the Moroccan intervention, traffic in the area was re-established and several Gulf countries issued declarations congratulating the kingdom on its decision to restore peace and stability to the region. Several countries, such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, expressed their support for Morocco's territorial integrity. 

The Gulf leaders discussed at the summit the need to break the deadlock between Qatar and the Saudi Arabia-led coalition after four years of rivalry that damaged regional stability.

Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani flew to Saudi Arabia to take part in the meeting following the opening of Riyadh's air space and the land and sea border with Doha on Monday night. The Saudi foreign minister then announced Riyadh's decision to re-establish all ties with Doha.

The leaders signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation, solidarity and stability in the region. The decision will put an end to the blockade that the Saudi Arabia-led coalition together with the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain imposed on Qatar in the summer of 2017. The coalition accused Qatar of financing terrorism, which Doha repeatedly denied and rejected.

During this period Morocco earned Qatar's respect and support after showing its neutrality in the face of the crisis. It attempted to convince both sides to join forces in the pursuit of solidarity, peace and regional stability.