Qatar expresses “astonishment” over withdrawal of KSA, UAE, Bahrain ambassadors
Qatar's Prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani - REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

CAIRO: Qatar expressed its astonishment over the withdrawal of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain ambassadors from Doha on Wednesday due to its foreign policies in the region, according to a statement issued by the Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The three Gulf states announced in a joint press statement reported by the Qatar News Agency that they are withdrawing their ambassadors in Qatar in protest of Qatar’s interference in neighboring states, and to preserve the stability and interests of the members of The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (CCASG), under a security agreement signed by member states Nov. 23.

The move by the three oil-rich Gulf states does not relate to their interests, security or stability, but rather their stances on issues, the Qatari statement added.

Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood is the main concern of the CCASG states (which also include Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait). The country seeks to maintain its ties between its citizens and all Gulf nations, and so it has not taken any reactive measures to the withdrawals, the statement said.

The security agreement signed by the members of the CCASG, which formed to face Iranian threats in the region, aims to preserve the power balance in the Middle East, the statement said.

Qatar’s support for Islamists in the region, particularly during the Arab revolutions, could shake the power balance in the Gulf states led by Saudi Arabia.

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