AMMAN: Top diplomats from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan concluded talks on Thursday aimed at coordinating policy on the multiple conflicts gripping the region.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said the ministers “exchanged views on regional issues and ways of cooperation to overcome regional crises.” He said the meeting was “positive and productive.”
The meeting at the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Center on the Dead Sea also covered the goal of achieving “security and stability in the interest of Arab benefit.”
The six-hour talks were “positive, constructive, and allowed a wide dialogue with an open agenda on the developments in the region and ways to face common challenges and enhance cooperation and coordination to serve Arab issues and interests,” Safadi said.
He described the meetings as a “consultation between brothers and friends.”
The meeting was attended by Sameh Shoukri of Egypt, Sabah Khaled Al-Sabah of Kuwait, Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan of the UAE, Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa of Bahrain and the Kingdom’s Adel Al-Jubeir.
“The meeting was aimed at finding ways of bringing Syria back to the Arab fold,” former Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister Mamdouh Abadi told Arab News, adding that the focus had been the future of Syria not Iran.
But a former Jordanian royal adviser, Adnan Abu Odeh, said the Syria issue was complicated. “Everyone is thinking now of bringing Syria back to the Arab League and the rebuilding efforts in Syria. But the Syrians threw a monkey wrench into the process when they signed a long-term agreement with Iran regarding economic cooperation and the rebuilding of Syria,” he told Arab News.
Former Jordanian Minister Asma Khader said the aim of such meetings was reaching a consensus on difficult issues.
The Dead Sea six-party meeting did not have any Palestinian representation, for example.
“While the event was held on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea it would have been more productive if a Palestinian official was invited,” she told Arab News. “Any meeting without Palestinians will not be able to confront the biggest regional challenge of the Palestinian cause. Ordinary Arabs are supportive of Iran and Turkey precisely because of their position on the Palestinian issue.”
The foreign ministers also met Jordan’s King Abdullah II, who urged “the importance of coordinating Arab positions on regional issues,” according to the royal court.