Qatar and Saudi Arabia signed a border demarcation agreement at the UN headquarters on Friday, putting an international seal of approval on a 1965 agreement between the two Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
“This is the icing on the cake,” said Saudi Ambassador to the United Nations Khaled Al Nafeesi before the signing ceremony. “We now have an internationally accepted document.”
The United Nations requires member states to register their maritime border agreements. The agreement then becomes an official UN document and is legally binding under the International Law. The UN Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs joined Qatari Ambassador Abdul Aziz Al Nasser and Al Nafeesi in signing the documents.
Speaking to reporters after the signing ceremony, Al Nafeesi expressed deep satisfaction over the deposition of the joint minutes related to the Land and Maritime Border Delimitation Agreement, which is the official name for the border accord.
He extolled the fruitful cooperation between the two countries at all levels, adding that it reflected their aspirations to strengthen their friendly and brotherly ties.
Qatar had signed a border agreement with Saudi Arabia in 1965. The agreement had never been fully ratified. Following the tension that rose in 1992, the agreement was suspended until the formation of a joint committee last year.
The two countries had signed a final border agreement in December last year. The agreement was signed by Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz and the Heir Apparent H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
Prince Naif had then said that the demarcation of borders was definitively completed, with the signing of that agreement, during the first meeting of the Saudi-Qatari Joint Coordination Council.
He also said that the council would serve as “the firm and strong bricks” in further strengthening relations between the two countries, which are “the closest in the region.”
That meeting saw the signing of six important agreements covering borders, political coordination and media, cultural and commercial cooperation. An agreement to establish a joint business council between the Saudi and Qatari chambers of commerce and industry was also signed.
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