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Tackling conflicts together – dialogue with the Gulf Cooperation Council

Foreign Minister Maas meets the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council

Foreign Minister Maas meets the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, © Xander Heinl/photothek.net

26.06.2019 - Article

Foreign Minister Maas meets the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council. On the agenda: tension in the Persian Gulf, the Qatar crisis and the conflict in Yemen. Maas’ message: Dialogue is the only way to reduce tension in the region.

Threat of escalation in the Gulf

All members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are direct neighbours of Iran, separated only by the Gulf. They play an important role in this tense situation. Foreign Minister Mass met GCC. Secretary General Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani in Berlin to discuss Germany’s role in bringing about de-escalation and dialogue in the region. Another important topic here was the nuclear agreement with Iran. For Germany as a participant in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), it is clear that the agreement contributes to stability in the region. Thus, Germany is working to ensure the JCPoA is upheld.

Qatar crisis

Foreign Minister Maas meets the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council
Foreign Minister Maas meets the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council© Xander Heinl/photothek.net

Since mid-2017, the Qatar crisis has had a direct impact on the Gulf Cooperation Council of which Qatar remains a member. The Council continues to function as a forum for dialogue. For example, Qatar attended the GCC Summit in Mecca in May 2019, but subsequently distanced itself from the final communiqué. Al Zayani and Maas talked about how to bring about a rapprochement between the countries and how Germany can play a role in current mediation efforts.

Conflict in Yemen

The conflict in Yemen played an important role in the talks and there have been new developments in this crisis in recent days. The peace process is very slow to move forward and there are not enough resources for the humanitarian assistance that is required. For Germany, it is clear that the conflict can only be resolved as part of a political process led and mediated by the United Nations. That is why the Federal Government is supporting the work of the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths and is one of the most important humanitarian donors.

In his talks with Secretary General Al Zayani, Foreign Minister Maas expressed his concern that United Nations humanitarian work which is so urgently needed in Yemen would not be carried out because aid payments had not to been made.

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