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Qatar failed to uphold GCC commitments, Saudi daily says

Doha promised to end incitement in the media but has continued to do so, Okaz says

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Dubai: A Saudi daily has said Qatar has “totally failed” in its commitment to the 2014 Riyadh Declaration that ended the worst diplomatic spat between the peninsular Gulf country and fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states since the establishment of their alliance in 1981.

“Qatar failed once more to uphold this month’s declaration issued in Riyadh and aiming to isolate Iran until it abandons its policy of supporting extremism,” the editorial in Okaz said.

“This should not come as a surprise since Qatar failed to respect the declaration reached in the Saudi capital three years ago. There were seven clear clauses and Qatar had agreed to comply with them.”

The first clause was to stop interfering in the domestic affairs of other GCC countries. The GCC is made up of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“However, this clause was not implemented as was obvious from the Qatari statements against Bahrain and the UAE,” the daily said.

“The declaration called for not naturalising the citizens of fellow GCC countries and for deporting all elements who are legally wanted, particularly the members of the Muslim brotherhood. Again, Qatar failed to respect the deal and even insisted on supporting a group that was declared terrorist.”

The Riyadh Declaration in 2014 called for putting an end to incitement in the media and this clause was never applied, the daily added.

“The GCC countries agreed not to allow religious figures to use Qatari mosques and media to incite against other GCC countries, but again Qatar shattered the agreement and continued to use both mosques and the media to tear at the Gulf and Arab fabric.”

Another clause called for ending any form of support for the Muslim brotherhood and for inciting against Egypt.

“Qatar ignored completely the clauses and continued to support the Muslim brotherhood against the state in Egypt.”

The editorial added that “Qatar’s positions, its interference in the affairs of the Gulf and Arab countries, its support for terrorist organisations over the years, and its role in dividing the Palestinian through supporting Hamas have become evident. This is a country that violates covenants and does not honour promises and agreements.”

In its editorial, Al Riyadh said Qatar was not expected to give up its Gulf and Arab affiliations “so quickly” and to stress in a telephone call with the Iranian president that Qatar’s relations with Iran were “long-standing, historical and well-established, and that it wants to strengthen them further.”

“When Qatar replaces the GCC states, its natural Gulf incubator, with Iran’s artificial incubator, then there is an imbalance in the Qatari strategic political thinking. What is the interest of Qatar in the Iranian embrace where it does not belong? It may be a fleeting interest that will end sooner or later, and then there will be no coasts, only the halfway between them where waves are formidable, unforgettable and unforgiving,” the daily said.

Al Yawm daily said that Qatar, with its clear departure from the Arab, Islamic and international consensus due to its embrace of the Iranian terrorist regime, is playing with fire and seeking to fuel crises in the region.

The daily said that the fact that Qatar contacted the Iranian regime and congratulated Rouhani on his second presidential term reflected Doha’s desire to augment its challenges to the consensus of the Gulf, Arab and Islamic countries.

“Qatar’s position is a clear betrayal and a stab in the back of the Gulf countries and the Arab, Islamic and international agreement. The strengthening of Doha’s relations with Tehran in the current difficult conditions in the region and Iran’s persistent terror crimes against Bahrain, Yemen, Iraq and Syria raises numerous questions about the commitment of Doha to the GCC Charter and about the extent to which it is willing to adopt the aspirations of GCC citizens.”

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