The unity of all GCC States plays a vital role in helping to advance progress in many different areas that would benefit the people of the region, United States (US) special representative for Iran and senior policy advisor to the Secretary of State Brian Hook has said.
“The dispute (Gulf crisis) has continued for too long, and it ultimately harms our shared regional interests in stability, prosperity, and security. The US will continue to stress the benefits of co-operation with all GCC members, and support steps to rebuild trust and unity,” he told reporters on a video press roundtable Sunday.
Before the press briefing, Hook met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani and discussed a wide range of topics, including the Gulf rift.
He said President (Donald) Trump and Secretary (Mike) Pompeo, who have “invested a great deal of time trying to help mediate the dispute”, continue to stress the importance of unity among the GCC members.
Qatar’s hosting of a base for US Forces significantly contributes to greater peace and stability in the region, according to Hook.
Apart from being partners in the area of security, he said the two countries also have deep economic and diplomatic co-operation, and cultural ties, among others. “Qatar is a great friend to the US," he stressed.
Hook cited the efforts of Kuwaiti Amir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah in resolving the crisis, which started on June 5, 2017 after the Saudi-led bloc severed ties with Qatar.
“I think our role and the role of Kuwait is to do what we can to foster dialogue, to help them make progress, because bringing an end to this dispute really advance the collective interest of all the parties to this conflict,” he stressed.
“I’ll be going to Kuwait next as part of this trip to the Gulf. We are going to continue our efforts, something which I have been engaged on for a number of years and hoping the two sides can resolve their differences,” Hook said.
“My expectation is that the role that Kuwait has been playing will continue, the US hopes for the Kuwaiti Amir’s (who underwent a successful surgery recently and is currently undergoing treatment in the US) improved health. I know that the Amir has invested a lot in this, I think he would very much like to have this work continue,” he said.
Before arriving in Qatar, Hook noted that he was in Tunisia for consultations with the President’s office and the Foreign Minister.
“Tunisia currently sits on the Security Council, and I used the opportunity to discuss our shared interests at the United Nations,” he said. “I am back in the region today to advance the Administration’s priority of extending the UN arms embargo on Iran, which expires in October.”