RIYADH: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recalled their ambassadors from Doha on Wednesday in protest at Qatar’s interference in their internal affairs, they announced in a joint statement.
The three Gulf Arab states made the decision following what newspapers described as a “stormy” late Tuesday meeting of foreign ministers from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council in Riyadh.
GCC countries “have exerted massive efforts to contact Qatar on all levels to agree on a unified policy… to ensure non-interference, directly or indirectly, in the internal affairs of any member state,” the statement said.
The nations have also asked Qatar, a backer of the Muslim Brotherhood movement that is banned in most Gulf states, “not to support any party aiming to threaten security and stability of any GCC member,” it added, citing media campaigns against them in particular.
The statement stressed that despite the commitment of Qatar’s emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to these principles during a mini-summit held in Riyadh in November with Kuwait’s emir and the Saudi monarch, his country has failed to comply.
Qatar’s share index dropped 2.3 per cent following the decision by Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain to withdraw their ambassadors from Qatar.