The tension continues to build in the Middle East. According to a senior diplomat that spoke confidentially to Arab daily newspaper Asharq Al Awsat, Qatar has refused to sign a final report written by a Gulf Cooperation Council committee overseeing the implementation of a Riyadh agreement on ending a diplomatic dispute between Doha and other member states. VW was among the first publications to note that Qatar was causing friction within the GCC back in early 2013.
Qatar balking on implementing agreement
The diplomat commented it is clear that Qatar is not serious about implementing the agreement, which forbids GCC states from supporting terror-related activities, interfering in the domestic affairs of member states or adopting unfriendly government policies.
In specific, the agreement includes a ban on Qatar granting citizenship to Bahrain’s nationals, and a call for “amending the conditions of those whose naturalization process had been suspended.”
The report was compiled by a GCC technical committee with representatives from six nations, and is expected to be discussed by a GCC ministerial council in Jeddah this coming Sunday.
In discussing Qatar’s willful violations of the GCC agreement, an anonymous Bahraini official told Asharq Al-Awsat: “Up till [Tuesday evening] Qatar is continuing the process of naturalizing Bahraini nationals.”
The unnamed diplomatic official also said although sanctions on Qatar for its misbehaviors and support of armed Sunni political groups have not been formally scheduled yet, several GCC members have begun informal discussions regarding the possibility of sanctions on Qatar.
Qatar says has done “all that is required”
Government officials from Qatar continue to stick to the line that the country has “done all that is required of it” in terms of the agreement, but GCC foreign ministers apparently aren’t buying it this time. They are now insisting that Qatar back up its words with deeds, the well-connected source continued.
The newspaper also quoted sources as saying the GCC was considering implementing a number of sanctions on Qatar, and that more discussions are expected through the weekend..