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The New Arab

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait new cooperation council could see oil production resuming in joint fields

The establishment of the council could see joint oil fields resume operations [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 July, 2018

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Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have agreed to set up a bilateral cooperation council, following the establishment of a similar council between Saudi Arabia and the UAE in February.

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are set to establish a cooperation council that will likely pave the way for the resumption of oil production from joint oil fields.

An agreement on the matter was signed in Kuwait on Tuesday by Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir and his Kuwaiti counterpart.

Jubeir later met with Kuwait's Emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed, to discuss relations between the two GCC partner states.

"The council aims at further boosting bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait," Khaled al-Jarallah, Kuwait's deputy foreign minister, said, according to the the KUNA news agency.

He added that the two states are considering resuming  operations in joint oil fields.

Oil fields in the neutral zone were closed amid an alleged dispute between the countries over oil firm operators in the area.

The dispute came to a head when Saudi Arabia closed the al-Khafji field in 2014, citing environmental issues. This move was followed by the closure of the Wafra oilfield in 2015.

The cooperation council agreement comes as the Saudi-led boycott of Qatar - a fellow GCC member - moves further into its second year.

In February, Riyadh set up a similar cooperation council with the UAE, another GCC member and participant in the Qatar boycott.

The diplomatic crisis broke out in June 2017, when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and fostering close relations with Riyadh's arch-rival, Iran.

Over a year on, Qatar has seemingly weathered the storm without caving into the 13 demands that were issued by the anti-Doha bloc.

The spat has remained in stalemate, with Qatar having received increasing support from regional and key Western states as the crisis has dragged on.

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