Dubai: Dozens of Muslim Brotherhood leaders reportedly deported by Qatar have arrived in Libya, a London-based daily said.
The leaders have landed at Maeetiqiya international airport in the Libyan capital over three days, Libyan political, military and security sources told Al Arab newspaper.
They were ferried away to unidentified places in cars waiting at the airport located around 11km west of Tripoli and dominated by an armed Islamist group, the sources added.
According to the daily, Qatar has been looking for a country that would host the senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood following intense pressure by fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries — Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE — to change its policy of supporting the movement.
The three countries on March 5 pulled out their ambassadors from Doha to protest against what was seen as Qatar’s meddling in their domestic affairs and its backing of the Islamist movement rejected by some GCC countries as an illegal organisation.
The three countries insisted their ambassadors would not be reinstated until Qatar complied fully with an agreement it signed on April 17 in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
Although the details of the accord have not been made public, reports citing “well-informed sources” said that the three countries wanted Qatar’s alignment with GCC common policies and the deportation of the Muslim Brotherhood leaders from Qatar who should be denied access to all Qatari or Qatar-supported media.
Other conditions included deporting around Qatar-based 15 Gulf nationals whose activities have been considered suspicious.
The agreement was signed in Riyadh following an intense mediation by the Emir of Kuwait that has been richly acknowledged. Kuwait and Oman, the other two GCC members, did not recall their ambassadors from Doha.
In separate statements, the foreign ministers of Oman and Qatar have said that the divergences between Qatar and the three other GCC countries that constituted the most serious political crisis within the alliance since it was founded in 1981 were over.
Khalid Al Atiyyah, the Qatari minister, said last week that the “divergences in opinions are over and it is up to the countries to decide on sending their ambassadors back to Doha.”
However, Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s foreign minister, on Wednesday said that the reinstatement of the ambassadors was linked to Qatar’s commitment to the implementation of the Riyadh agreement.
“The GCC foreign ministers meeting in Riyadh on April 17 was the start of a process for the direct application of the agreement, so results will not be immediate,” he said.
“We have drawn up reconciliation measures and an action plan that is being fine-tuned right now in Riyadh. The timeline will be linked to the progress of the process,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a GCC security conference in Bahrain.
A GCC Executive Committee is holding meetings in the Saudi capital to prepare the points that will help with the implementation of the Riyadh agreement, Al Arab said.
Quoting diplomatic sources, the daily said that the points would be reviewed by the GCC foreign ministers before they are implemented by Qatar.
The committee would then monitor the application process with a three-month deadline, it added.
Some of the points include deportation of Muslim Brotherhood leading figures to their home countries and reviewing the policies of the Doha-based pan-Arab satellite channel Al Jazeera.
The three countries also want Qatar not to allow religious preachers to use mosques or media to attack other GCC countries and to cancel all forums by organisations seen by the GCC as having links with terrorism.
They also insist that Qatar must shut down research centres directed by Saudi nationals who had been given the Qatari citizenship.