Italy on Tuesday "warmly welcomed" the announcement by Saudi Arabia and three other Arab states that they were ending a more-than-three-year-old boycott of Qatar that stoked western fears of Iran's growing strength in the region.
"Italy warmly welcomes the outcomes of the Gulf Cooperation Council Summit of 5 January with the adoption of the Al-Ula Manifesto, which marks the start of the normalization of relations within the Organization, and the announcement of the reopening of Saudi airspace with Qatar," said a foreign ministry statement.
"The settlement of the internal dispute in the Gulf Cooperation Council is a fundamental premise for increased stability and security in the region, the statement added.
The statement referred to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates' announcement at a GCC summit at Al-Ula, north of Medina, on Tuesday that they were ending their air, land and sea boycott of Qatar.
The boycott had begun in June 2017, when the four countries accused the tiny, gas-rich state of supporting Islamist groups in the region and of having overly-friendly ties with Iran.
"We appreciate the continued mediation efforts of Kuwait, the impetus provided by the United States and constructive commitment of the various parties to resolving the dispute, an objective that Italy has always supported with conviction," the statement concluded.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt agreed to restore ties with Qatar after a four-year embargo.
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