The world saw significant development on the evening of January 4 after the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ended Qatar’s blockade. The timing was perfect for such a spectacle. As the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit was nearing, the decision to lift the embargo was a diplomatic masterstroke from Saudi Arabia. Reciprocating the Saudi gesture, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Ganad al-Thani confirmed his attendance at the summit. Indeed, the GCC Summit’s highlight would be the video clip where Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomed the Emir of Qatar with a warm and tight hug. The warm welcome of the Qatari leader suggests that international actors’ diplomatic efforts, especially those of Kuwait, have borne fruits.
In the light of the 41st GCC Summit, the latest developments are positive signs. The Middle East (ME) needs this sort of stability after the latest escalation in tensions in the region. Under the present unprecedented global political, economic and security challenges, a divided ME becomes one of the most vulnerable areas. Thankfully, international diplomacy has removed most hurdles in the way of cooperation between Gulf countries. The recent summit in Al-Ula can be seen as a new beginning for the ME. It is expected that the parties to the Gulf crisis will sign a pact to end the three-year-long GCC crisis.
Like many other countries, Pakistan welcomes the recent show of friendship and cooperation between the two most important states in the region. Islamabad sees the uplifting of the blockade as the first step to paving a path for mutual respect and cooperation. The past few days’ events are a practical demonstration of the adage that no animosity or friendship is permanent in international relations; national interests trump all else. Building on this statement’s wisdom, Pakistan is more than willing to mediate between Turkey and Saudi Arabia to resolve the outstanding differences between our old allies for more cooperation where possible.