Breaking News – UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain recall their ambassadors from Qatar

Saudi, Bahrain, UAE recall envoys to Qatar.

Saudi, Bahrain, UAE recall envoys to Qatar.

In a shock move, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday recalled their envoys to Qatar.

The three countries said the move was taken to “to protect their security and stability,” a Saudi Press Agency statement said.

The trio also said that Qatar had not “committed to the principles” of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and said “Qatar has to take the appropriate steps to ensure the security of the GCC states.”

They made the decision following what Gulf media described as a “stormy” late Tuesday meeting of foreign ministers from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council in Riyadh, according to Agence France-Presse.

Security and stability ‘threat’

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.

A security agreement signed last year by the GCC focused on cooperation in the exchange of information and tracking down of criminals and those who violate the law.

Frayed ties

Earlier on Wednesday, a Qatar rights body said it will pursue the release of a citizen who was jailed seven years over links to an Islamist group in an “unfair” UAE ruling, local media reported.

The move came a month after Abu Dhabi summoned the Qatari ambassador to the UAE, Faris al-Nuaimi on Sunday, and gave him a memorandum protesting statements made by the Doha-based religious cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi against the Gulf state.

In recent months, the UAE also jailed a group of 30 Emiratis and Egyptians to terms ranging from three months to five years for forming a Muslim Brotherhood cell.

The Brotherhood is banned in much of the region, and the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia pledged billions of dollars in aid to Egypt after the overthrow of Islamist Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi, who hails from the Islamist organization.

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