Bahrain FM to Asharq Al-Awsat: Qatar Burned The Return Ships

Bahrain FM to Asharq Al-Awsat: Qatar Burned The Return Ships

Thursday, 6 December, 2018 - 07:45
Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Manama - Obaid al-Suheimy
Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa described the ongoing dispute with Qatar as “unprecedented and very deep,” stressing that Doha “has burned the return ships.”

“There must be a new agreement and a new regime, and Doha should be placed under scrutiny,” he said.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, the minister emphasized that Qatar was the least to commit to the Gulf Cooperation Council agreements. Underlining the necessity for reforms in Doha, he noted that the Arab quartet was holding on its stance and conditions with regards to the crisis.

“The policy of hostility adopted by Qatar against the GCC states is clear, and the most blatant example is its prevalent hostility towards Saudi Arabia recently, in particular by insulting Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman,” he noted.

The foreign minister went on to say that the crisis with Qatar has severely deepened.

“I do not know how Qatar will return. It has committed to the enemies of the region, such as Iran, and separated itself from the GCC. We are realistic in dealing with this issue and we don’t want to waste more time,” he affirmed.

As for Qatar’s participation in the upcoming Gulf Summit, which will be hosted by Saudi Arabia on Sunday, Sheikh Khalid ruled out the possibility to freeze the ongoing dispute during the meeting, “because the issue cannot be solved only by warm salutations.”

Qatar’s delay and escalation have made the solution even more difficult, according to the minister.

Asked about the conditions set by the Arab quartet boycotting Qatar (Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt), Sheikh Khalid said: “The conditions are the same and we will not give up on them because they are based on international law, international principles and the principles of good neighborliness and respect.”

“What I see is that Qatar has burned all the return ships, and no longer has any ship that could bring it back to the Council… Once Qatar commits to carrying out the demands, we will have another opinion,” he added.

On a different note, the Bahraini foreign minister said that the upcoming GCC meeting would discuss strategic military cooperation among GCC States and other issues of mutual concern.

Commenting on the ongoing crisis in Yemen, he emphasized that the Houthis were not marginalized, but “they excluded the others and seized power adopting the Hezbollah and Iranian approach.”

“As for Iran, the ball is now in its court. It is the offensive country that is trying to impose its dominance. It is the one that is insulting and harming the region. The GCC countries stand to defend their security and stability until Iran changes its approach,” the minister affirmed.


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