Dubai: Qatar has reportedly refused to sign the final report prepared by a technical committee set up by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to monitor the implementation of an agreement to end the worst diplomatic crisis within the alliance.
The committee established in April following the Riyadh Agreement had until Wednesday to finalise its report before submitting it to the foreign ministers of the member countries — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The ministers will discuss the report at their next meeting on August 30 in the Red Sea city of Jeddah and decide on the next steps, London-based daily Al Sharq Al Awsat reported on Wednesday.
According to the daily, Qatari officials said at the meeting that they had implemented all that was required from them.
However, a senior Gulf official said that Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE insisted on evidences and actions that supported the Qatari claims.
“This insistence upset the Qatari officials who refused to endorse the report by the committee, even though the other countries signed it,” the unnamed Gulf source told the daily.
The unprecedented crisis erupted within the GCC last year amid accusations that Doha was pursuing a policy that differed from the stances of the other member countries.
In November, an accord was reached to have Qatar change its policies and bring them more in line with those of its fellow members, regarding domestic issues and regional developments that affected GCC interests.
However, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE on March 5 said that Qatar did not comply with the accord and pulled their ambassadors from Doha, citing grievances that included interference in their domestic affairs and offering support, including from the media, to groups that were intent on undermining stability and security in the Gulf.
Qatar rejected the charges and said that it was fully committed to the principles and objectives of the GCC, set up in 1981.
A new accord, achieved mainly thanks to the mediation of the Kuwaiti Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, was reached in Riyadh on April 17.
The GCC countries pledged to honour the Riyadh Agreement and a committee made up of representatives from the six member countries was set up to follow up on its implementation.
The works of the committee remained mostly secret and no information about them has been leaked. However, statements by Gulf officials and media reports offered contrasting assessments about the first reports.
While some talked about an imminent breakthrough in the diplomatic crisis, others said that the divergences were too wide to overcome easily.
Saudi Arabia insisted that the ambassadors would not be reinstated until Qatar fully complied with the Riyadh Agreement.
Bahrain on two occasions issued statements calling for an end to the naturalisation of some of its well-established Arab families by Qatar authorities.
Last week, the GCC foreign ministers meeting in Jeddah said that they looked forward to the full implementation of the agreement within one week.
It was the first time since April that a deadline was announced publicly for reaching an accord.
The diplomatically worded statement by the GCC Secretary-General Abdul Lateef Al Zayani at the end of the meeting attended by all GCC foreign ministers was interpreted as an ultimatum to Qatar.