CAIRO: Some Egyptian diplomats have ruled out the possibility that reconciliation could resolve the chasm between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain after the three Gulf countries withdrew their envoys to Qatar, according to media reports.
The foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) signed on April 18 a reconciliation agreement during an urgent meeting in Riyadh to resolve the Gulf crisis, according to a statement.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain decided on March 5 to withdraw their ambassadors to Qatar because Doha had not implemented an agreement among Gulf Arab countries not to interfere in each other’s internal affairs, MENA reported.
The Organization of Arab Peoples and Parliaments supported the decision, and Egypt announced that its own ambassador “will not return” to Qatar, reported Youm7. Qatar-Egypt relations have grown noticeably tense following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, with Qatar initially condemning the ouster of Egypt’s first democratically elected president.
Mohamed al-Orabi, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and president of the Conference Party, said that the Gulf-Qatar agreement, which demands changes to Qatari foreign policy and the expulsion of 15 fugitive members of the Muslim Brotherhood from Doha will not succeed because Qatar is not serious about changing its policy, Youm7 reported.
The agreement also stated that Qatar should stop its aid to Islamists such as Egypt’s Brotherhood. Egypt designated the Brotherhood a “terrorist” organization in December 2013, and Saudi Arabia followed suit in March.
Orabi said that despite Egypt declaring the Brotherhood a “terrorist” group, Qatar continues its support for them. He added that Doha began to interfere in Sudanese and Iranian affairs in order to place pressure on Egypt and the Gulf states.
Saudi diplomatic sources said the ambassadors would not return to Qatar until it fulfills its promise to stop direct and indirect aid to all “provocative” groups, Al Masry Al Youm reported.
The sources pointed out that Qatar announced its commitment to expel the members of the Brotherhood from Doha and to end its support for the group.
Additional reporting by Abdel Latif Sobh, Ramy Saeed and Aya Hosni.