Most Gulf countries issued press releases supporting Morocco’s efforts to restore stability in Guerguerat in November 2020.
Rabat – Leaders of Gulf countries extolled partnership with Morocco during the 41st GCC summit held in Al Ula region in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.
The closing statement of the summit stressed the importance of the “special strategic partnership between the Council of Cooperation and the Kingdom of Morocco.”
The Gulf leaders also called for intensifying efforts to implement joint actions plans agreed upon within the framework of the strategic partnership between the two parties.
On recent developments in the Western Sahara conflict, Gulf leaders reiterated their support for Morocco’s territorial integrity. They notably commended Rabat’s peaceful actions to lift the blockade in Guerguerat, near the Moroccan Mauritanian border.
Morocco deployed a contingent of its Royal Armed Forces in Guerguerat on November 13, 2020 to lift a three-week blockade by Polisario elements.
In addition to staging illegal protests in the region, the Polisario members were hindering commercial and civil traffic at the crossing point between Mauritania and Morocco.
Following Morocco’s intervention to establish a “security corridor” and restore traffic in the area, several Gulf countries issued statements to congratulate Morocco for its move to restore peace and stability in the region.
Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman were among the countries that expressed support for Morocco’s territorial integrity, condemning Polisario’s maneuvers.
In today’s GCC summit, Gulf leaders notably discussed the need to break the stalemate between Qatar and the Saudi-led coalition after four year of unproductive rivalry that damaged regional stability.
Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani flew to Saudi Arabia to participate in the event after Riyadh opened airspace, land and sea border with Doha on Monday evening.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry has since announced Riyadh’s decision to restore all ties with Doha.
The decision came after Gulf leaders signed an agreement to tighten cooperation, solidarity, and stability in the region.
The decision will end a blockade that the Saudi-led coalition, which included the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain, imposed on Qatar in June 2017.
The coalition accused Qatar of financing terrorism, which Doha repeatedly denied and refused.
Morocco and the Gulf Crisis
During the standoff between the Riyadh-led coalition and Doha, Morocco earned respect and support in Qatar after it showed neutrality in the crisis.
While most analysts expected Morocco to take a pro-Saudi stand in the regional feud, the North African country opted for “constructive neutrality,” attempting to convince the two sides to restore ties for the sake of regional solidarity, peace, and stability.
Following the blockade, Morocco decided to send humanitarian aid to the region, and King Mohammed VI was one of the Arab leaders to visit the region amid the blockade.
Media in Qatar applauded Morocco’s neutrality, describing King Mohammed VI as the “blockade breaker.”