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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Oman-UAE reconciliation by Kuwait Ruler

Published Date: March 06, 2011

KUWAIT: The reconciliation of relations between Oman and the United Arab Emirates is still gaining positive reactions, all of which have lauded this important step, as well as the crucial role played by Kuwait's Amir His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah in achieving it. Senior diplomatic sources revealed that HH the Amir had been shuttling between the two countries in a true show of shuttle diplomacy, taking eight flights between the two nations in under 24 hours, in order to ensure that the two neighboring nations turn the page of conflict between them.

Signs of the conflict between Oman and the UAE became to show after Sultan Qaboos of Oman failed to attend the Gulf Cooperation Council summit that took place in Abu Dhabi", said a senior official, citing disagreement on commercial and labor issues, in addition to procedures over their joint borders as being behind the problem. "At the time, the Kuwaiti delegation made a modest activity to solve the dispute.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official explained that Kuwait attempted again to resolve the dispute during the Arab economic summit in Sharm Al-Sheikh on Jan 20 this year, but the Omani and UAE delegations insisted at the time that they were working on overcoming the disputes mutually.

Following recent developments in the Arab region which have seen major uprisings in Bahrain and Oman however, Kuwait decided to take urgent steps to resolve any conflict within the countries of the GCC federation, the official explained "[Kuwait] realized that waiting would only make matters worse, and that solidifying relations between the GCC countries has become a necessity, especially after Egypt became unable to maintain its strong role on the Arab scene," the insider said.

With this in mind, the Kuwaiti leadership made communications with its Saudi counterpart, as well as the leaderships of other GCC countries, after which HH the Amir embarked in his journey of reconciliation that saw him taking eight flights between Abu Dhabi and Muscat within a 24-hour period.

The official also revealed that HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad had insisted that he would not return to Kuwait until the dispute between the two nations was resolved. The authorities in both Oman and the UAE were tremendously responsive to HH the Amir's initiative, the insider went on, adding that both showed great commitment to cooperate with him in his drive to achieve reconciliation.

Sultan Qaboos personally told Sheikh Sabah that he welcomes any activity that His Highness does to seek the best interest of the region," the official said, adding that the following day saw a historic meeting at Al-Shumookh Fort between Sultan Qaboos and the UAE's Vice President and Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammad Ben Rashid Al-Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, and Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, which was mediated by HH the Amir.

Meanwhile, several Kuwaiti MPs lauded HH the Amir's initiative, which they agreed is "not something new coming from the sponsor of Arab diplomacy." "His Highness the Amir has a historic role in supporting the GCC federation by working to resolve any conflicts that takes place between its members," said MP Musallam Al-Barrak, acknowledging the Kuwaiti monarch's efforts since his time as the country's foreign minister.

Fellow parliamentarian Mohammad Hayef also praised the "profound efforts of His Highness the Amir which resulted in a brotherly reconciliation between the UAE and Oman," while MP Shuwaib Al-Muwaizri said that the Kuwaiti leader's initiative "proves that the GCC countries are members of a single family, each of whom are affected by anything that affects any of them.

Another Kuwaiti MP, Nadji Al-Abdulhadi, said that HH the Amir "has always been a pioneer in resolving conflicts between brotherly nations," while the chairman of the parliament's foreign affairs committee, MP Mubarak Al-Khurainej, asserted that the recent initiative "is an addition to His Highness's successful efforts to resolve disputes between Arab nations in general." - Agencies

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