DOHA — Saudi Arabia and Qatar have signed a number of agreements and memorandums of understanding, including those for joint cooperation between central banks of the two countries, and cooperation in the field of youth and sports affairs. The pacts were inked on the occasion of the visit of Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman to attend the summit meeting of the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the seventh meeting of the Saudi-Qatari Coordination Council.
In a joint statement issued at the end of the visit of the Crown Prince, Saudi Arabia and Qatar expressed deep concern over the humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip, and the brutal crimes being perpetrated by the Israeli occupation forces. The two countries also reiterated their resolve to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in all vital fields.
The Saudi-Qatari Coordination Council meeting was co-chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The Crown Prince and the Emir expressed their satisfaction with the results, outcomes, positive initiatives and consensus reached in the subcommittee meetings of the council that resulted in signing a number of agreements and memorandums of understanding, which would enhance cooperation between the two countries in all fields. They also stressed the importance of continuing to support and develop the activities of the council and its subcommittees and permanent coordination between the two sides to contribute to enhancing its effectiveness.
In his speech, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that the bilateral relations between the two countries are witnessing rapid development and cooperation at all levels. “The Saudi Qatari Coordination Council will be one of the most important means of communication and coordination between the two countries that embodies these established relations, and that it is necessary to strive with all seriousness to deepen and expand the areas of bilateral cooperation in a way that achieves future renaissance and sustainable growth for the two countries and their peoples. In his speech, Sheikh Tamim congratulated the Saudi Crown Prince on the occasion of winning candidacy by Saudi Arabia to host the 2030 World Expo, and the Kingdom’s nomination to host the 2034 World Cup. The Emir praised the Crown Prince and pledged Qatar’s support for hosting these two global events.
In the joint statement, Saudi Arabia and Qatar expressed their deep concern over the humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip, and the brutal crimes witnessed in the Strip that claimed the lives of thousands of defenseless civilians, including children, women, and the elderly. They stressed the need to stop military operations in the Palestinian territories, and protect civilians in accordance with international law and international humanitarian law. The two countries stressed the importance of the role that the international community must play in putting an end to Israeli violations and pressuring Israel to stop its brutal attacks and stop the forced displacement of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, saying that this is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law and international laws.
The two sides stressed the need to enable international humanitarian organizations to play their role in providing humanitarian and relief aid to the Palestinian people, including United Nations organizations, especially the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), and to support their efforts in this regard. The two sides stressed the need to intensify efforts to reach a comprehensive and just settlement of the Palestinian issue in accordance with the principle of the two-state solution, the Arab Peace Initiative, and the relevant international legitimacy resolutions, in a way that guarantees the Palestinian people their right to establish their independent state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
On its part, the Qatari side appreciated the Kingdom’s hosting of the extraordinary joint Arab-Islamic summit in Riyadh, and the decisions that resulted in reaching a unified collective position of the Arab and Islamic countries towards the current developments in Palestine, praising the Kingdom’s major efforts to stop the aggression on Gaza. The Saudi side appreciated the continuous efforts made by the State of Qatar, including the success of the mediation that resulted in reaching the humanitarian truce agreement in Gaza, with the aim of delivering humanitarian and relief aid to meet the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and the release of detainees, and its continued endeavor to reach a comprehensive ceasefire.
On the Yemen issue, the two sides stressed the importance of fully supporting international and regional efforts to reach a comprehensive political solution to the Yemeni crisis, and appreciated the international efforts to strengthen commitment to the truce. They also stressed the importance of all concerned parties engaging positively with international efforts aimed at ending the Yemeni crisis.
The two sides stressed the importance of the commitment of both parties to the conflict in Sudan to a ceasefire. They also drew attention to the Saudi initiative that culminated in signing of the Jeddah Declaration in May 2023, and the humanitarian arrangements within the framework of international humanitarian law signed in the same month in order to end the ongoing conflict in Sudan and return to political dialogue between all the concerned parties.
The Qatari side welcomed the Saudi – Iranian agreement to resume diplomatic relations between them, and expressed its hope that this step will contribute to enhancing security and stability in the region, in a way that preserves the sovereignty of countries and non-interference in their internal affairs. The two sides also called on Iran to fully cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency regarding the peaceful use of its nuclear program.
On the joint political front, the statement said that Saudi Arabia and Qatar expressed their satisfaction at the advanced level reached by political consultations that express the depth of the fraternal relationship existing between them. They stressed the importance of continuing to consolidate and enhance cooperation and political consultation between the two countries regarding regional and international issues of common concern.
Regarding security and military matters, the two sides highlighted the importance of strengthening security and military cooperation in a way that contributes to supporting the security and stability of the region, in addition to consolidating cooperation in the fields of military training and scholarships, exchanging experiences and building partnerships in the security and military fields.
On sports, the two sides praised the coordination that took place between them during Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup. In the cultural, tourism and entertainment levels, the two sides praised the existing coordination and cooperation between the two countries in these fields, through the exchange of experiences and coordination in preparing joint cultural files and enhancing cooperation between the two countries with regard to registration on the list of tangible heritage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Both sides also agreed to participate in cultural festivals and events between the two countries, holding joint cultural seminars, and improving the access routes for international tourists to the two countries.
In the economic, trade and investment fields, the two sides stressed the importance of strengthening economic partnerships, developing joint work to diversify and increase the volume of trade exchange between the two countries. This is in addition to facilitating the flow of commercial traffic, overcoming any challenges it may face, and investing in the opportunities available within the framework of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and the Qatar National Vision 2030 and transforming them into tangible partnerships in all fields for the benefit of the economies of the two countries and their peoples. They also stressed the importance of raising the pace of investment cooperation and supporting economic integration opportunities in a number of targeted sectors in the two countries.
Regarding investment, energy and infrastructure, the two sides stressed the importance of discussing ways to expand investment partnerships between them, and joint cooperation in promoting and developing investment and enabling entrepreneurship and technology through the relevant authorities in the two countries, and launching the Saudi-Qatari initiative for digital skills between the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and its Qatari counterpart.
They also expressed their desire to discuss ways to enhance cooperation in the fields of energy, including electricity, energy efficiency, and renewable energy, the future of transportation and its modern technologies, railway connectivity between the two countries, agriculture and food security, for the common benefit of the economies of the two countries. In the media field, the two sides agreed to establish a strategic partnership between the Saudi Ministry of Media and the Qatar Media Corporation in all relevant media sectors
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