Rift re-emerges between Qatar and other Gulf states

Doubts cast on next Doha GCC summit, mediation underway

13 November, 20:15

    Members of Kuwait's parliament reconvene for 14th legislative term (file photo) Members of Kuwait's parliament reconvene for 14th legislative term (file photo)

    (ANSAmed) - DUBAI - A crisis between Qatar and three other Gulf states has resurfaced in full force less than a month prior to a scheduled annual meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members.

    Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain appear unwilling to go to Doha for the summit. The rift between the four nations first emerged in March, when Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Manama, in an unprecedented move due both to its political weight and the international attention it drew to the GCC's internal problems, pulled their ambassadors out of the Qatari capital. The reason for the worst crisis ever between GCC members - created in 1981 and which includes also Oman and Kuwait - was Qatar's alleged interference in the internal affairs of the other three.

    The editorial line taken by Qatar's satellite broadcaster Al-Jazeera was deemed overly critical of the nearby emirates and Doha's support for the Muslim Brotherhood - an outlawed organization in the other three GCC members - was seen as too staunch. Kuwait offered to mediate immediately after the diplomatic crisis, but meetings, talks and statements especially from Qatar did not achieve their desired effect. ''It is rather clear now that the dispute has worsened and that there are countries that do not want to go to Doha,'' said former information minister Mohammad Nasser Al-Senussi, one of the mediators.

    Though Qatar has said that the differences have been resolved, the fact that the other nations' ambassadors have not yet returned to Doha and the emirate continues to allow Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousef Al-Qardawi to stay on as guest in the county clearly shows its reluctance to focus on the major sources of friction between them. Kuwaiti undersecretary for foreign affairs Khalid Al-Jarallah has said that he has heard ''of a single location for the holding of the summit, and that is Doha''.

    Kuwaiti daily Al-Anbaa has said, however, that preparations are underway for an informal meeting between representatives of all Gulf nations in the coming days. The daily Asharq Al-Awsat reports that a ''special summit'' will be held next week in Riyadh to foster rapprochement between the GCC members. (ANSAmed).

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