When the Arab Quartet of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt announced on June 5, 2017 that they had decided to break diplomatic, trade and travel links with Qatar, it was a dramatic escalation with repercussions that went far beyond the confines of the Arabian Gulf.
Cut to January 2021 – and that diplomatic stand-off came to an end at the Al Ula Summit in Saudi Arabia, where Gulf Arab leaders signed a declaration to mark a new page in relations following their decision to end the embargo of Qatar.
One of the first reactions to the positive development in the new year was from India – which successfully managed to nurture close relations with the UAE and Saudi Arabia while growing its commercial and trade links with Qatar in the intervening years.
New Delhi not only welcomed the reconciliation and rapprochement among the Gulf states, but also hoped that such encouraging developments will further promote peace, progress and stability in the region and among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members.
“We were pleased to note the positive developments at the recently concluded GCC Summit in Al-Ula, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We welcome the reconciliation and rapprochement between countries in the region. India shares excellent relationships with all the countries in the GCC which is in our extended neighbourhood and we hope that such encouraging developments will further promote peace, progress and stability in the region,” said Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava. India will continue to work with GCC countries for the strengthening of bilateral cooperation, he said.