» Gulf

Qatar Slams GCC, Calls for Reformed Alliance

2018-12-15 - 11:33 p

Bahrain Mirror: Qatar has said on Saturday (December 15, 2018) that it is committed to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) but that the bloc needed to enforce its own rules, signalling that a reformed alliance could help end the Gulf crisis.

News agencies reported that Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said that Qatar was still counting on Kuwait and regional powers to help end the crisis, in which Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have imposed a political and economic boycott on Doha since June 2017.

"We believe that we are more relevant as a bloc" for the West than as separate and fragmented countries, he told the annual Doha Forum, but said the GCC had "no teeth" and needed a dispute resolution mechanism.

He went on to say that they have "mechanisms in place and never trigger them [to hold people accountable] because some countries believe they are non-binding, so we need to make sure all the rules we are submitting to are binding to everyone in this region."

The quartet has accused Qatar of supporting "terrorism" and rapprochement with their regional rival Iran. Qatar has denied the charges and said the boycott aims to impinge on its sovereignty.

Kuwait, a GCC member and a traditional mediator in the region, has attempted to resolve the diplomatic spat over the past year and a half, but to no avail, so did the United States, who believes that Gulf unity is key to limit Iran's influence.

As an indicator of the ongoing escalation of the crisis, the issue of the Gulf crisis had not taken precedence during a one-day GCC summit on Sunday, held in the Saudi capital Riyadh, as the Emir of Qatar was absent from the annual summit.

Earlier, Doha announced it would withdraw from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to focus on the gas sector, a move that is a blow to Saudi Arabia, a member of the organization.

The Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani called on the Saudi-led alliance boycotting the Gulf country to start a dialogue, in order to resolve the dispute. "Our position has not changed on how to solve the Gulf crisis," Tamim told the forum.


Arabic Version



comments powered by Disqus