Qatar foreign minister: Gulf differences have come to an end

Khalid Al Attiyah

Marc Müller/Wikimedia

In Qatar’s first public remarks about a GCC-wide agreement signed last week, a senior official has said a dispute between his country and three of its neighbors has been resolved.

Speaking to reporters in Kuwait, Foreign Minister Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah said:

“The statement issued in Riyadh on April 17 was clear … For the brothers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the dispute is over,” AFP reports him as saying.

Thursday’s accord involved adopting mechanisms to insure the security, stability and interests of each Gulf state, without compromising their sovereignty, according to a statement released by GCC nations.

The agreement apparently resolved an ongoing dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE, who last month withdrew their ambassadors from Doha.

The three countries said Qatar was not upholding its part of a Gulf security pact. At the time, officials in Doha suggested that the dispute was more likely over the nation’s foreign policy – namely, its support of the Muslim Brotherhood.

No details

Because no specifics about last week’s agreement were disclosed, speculation about its terms has been rife. Gulf media reports have asserted that Qatar agreed to tone down its Al Jazeera coverage, as well as expel Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters from the country, including prominent Islamic scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi.

But Al Qaradawi swiftly debunked that rumor earlier this week, calling it “totally baseless.”

While Al Attiyah did not go into any details about the agreement yesterday, he stressed that no significant compromises were involved. QNA quotes his as saying:

“The brothers in the GCC countries have reached deals which do not mean that concessions were made by any party…(it is now) left for the brothers in the GCC states to send their ambassadors back.”

Thoughts?

About Shabina S. Khatri

Shabina S. Khatri is the editor of Doha News. She holds dual bachelor's degrees in Business Administration and Spanish from the University of Michigan, a Masters of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University, has previously taught at NU-Q, and worked for the Wall Street Journal and the Detroit Free Press.