Qatar not worried about suspension from GCC, foreign minister says

Arab leaders meeting used to illustrate the story [Photo: Ynetnews]
Arab leaders meeting used to illustrate the story [Photo: Ynetnews]

Qatar is not worried that its membership in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will be suspended as its rival neighbours threaten to escalate their sanctions against Doha.

“No, they cannot take such a decision because it should be by consensus,” Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed Abdulrahman said during a meeting at the Chatham House think tank in London.

He was referring to the six-member political and economic alliance in the Gulf, which includes Kuwait and Oman, who have taken a neutral stance since the crisis began a month ago.

Three members of the GCC, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, along with Egypt cut diplomatic and transportation links with Qatar in June.

Since then, Kuwait has been mediating the crisis.

The media reports that Qatar faces further isolation and possible expulsion from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) if its response to a list of demands made nearly two weeks ago is not satisfactory.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain foreign ministers are due to meet in Cairo to discuss Qatar’s reply to 13 demands they sent to Qatar in return for the lifting of sanctions imposed in June.

The dispute revolves around allegations that Qatar supports Islamist militants, including the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been designated a terrorist organisation by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt.

Qatar denies it supports terrorism and says Arab countries want to control its foreign policy.

Abdulrahman had said at a joint news conference with his German counterpart on Tuesday that its response was “given in goodwill and good initiative for a constructive solution.”

However, he insisted that Doha would not compromise on its sovereignty.

Gulf officials have said the demands are not negotiable, signalling more sanctions are possible, including “parting ways” with Doha a suggestion it may be ejected from the GCC, a regional economic and security cooperation body founded in 1981.

“Qatar is walking alone in its dreams and illusions, far away from its Gulf Arab brothers, after it sold every brother and friend and bought the treacherous and the one far away at the highest price.

“A Gulf national may be obliged to prepare psychologically for his Gulf to be without Qatar,” the editor of the Abu Dhabi government linked al-Ittihad newspaper wrote in an editorial said.

Some newspapers said that remarks by Abdulrahman in which he stressed his country would not compromise on its sovereignty suggests that Doha would not change its policies.
(dpa/NAN)


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