Manama: In the latest twist in the intrigue caused by two conflicting statements issued on the same day by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a report suggested that the first stance had been drafted unilaterally by sources outside the Riyadh-based headquarters of the general secretariat.

The statement that blasted Egypt over “false accusations that challenge facts” caused resentment among GCC states that said that it did not reflect their views, pan-Arab daily Al Sharq Al Awsat reported on Saturday.

“The GCC countries always stress their full support to the government and people of Egypt,” a Gulf source that the daily did not identify said. “It seems that the statement had been drafted hastily and unilaterally. It was then sent to the GCC general secretariat that posted it on its website and it was subsequently disseminated by the GCC news agencies.”

The GCC, established in 1981, comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

According to the source, statements issued by the GCC general secretariat are usually announced following the agreement by the GCC member countries.

“When one country has a special statement to announce, it is drafted by its ministry of foreign affairs to defend its own interests,” the source said. “There are issues where agreements among the GCC member countries had been reached and have become very clear. However, when there are new issues or developments over which no GCC agreements have been reached yet, the tradition is that the secretary general consults with the member countries,” the source said.

In the first statement, GCC Secretary General Abdul Lateef Al Zayani rejected charges levelled by the Egyptian permanent representative to the Arab League Tariq Adel that Qatar supported terrorism.

Adel accused Qatar of supporting terrorism after Doha’s representative expressed reservations over a clause in a communiqué welcoming Cairo’s air strikes on targets in Libya.

Following Adel’s remarks, Qatar on Wednesday recalled its ambassador to Egypt “for consultations”.

Al Zayani described the Egyptian charges as “false accusations that challenge facts and ignore the sincere efforts exerted by Qatar alongside the GCC states in the fight against terrorism and extremism at all levels and in supporting joint Arab action in all Arab and international forums.”

Al Zayani said that “such statements do not help to consolidate Arab solidarity at a time when the Arab countries face great challenges that threaten their security, stability and sovereignty.”

However, in a second statement issued late on Thursday, Al Zayani said that GCC countries supported Egypt in all areas under the leadership of President Abdul Fattah Al Sisi.

Such support was clear in the Riyadh Agreement and in the Complementary Riyadh Agreement that were endorsed by their majesties and highness the leaders of the GCC countries, Al Zayani said.

The two Riyadh agreements were issued last year to boost common approaches and positions by the six GCC members.

“The leaders recognise the importance of cohesion and integration with Egypt, considering that the security and stability of Egypt represent the security and stability of the Gulf states, and particularly in light of delicate and sensitive conditions in the region and in the world that requires the close interconnection between all countries,” Al Zayani said.

The Secretary General added that the GCC countries stood fully with Egypt and its people in the fight against terrorism and in the protection of citizens both at home and abroad.

The GCC countries also support all military actions taken by Egypt against terrorist groups in Libya, following the barbaric act carried out by the Daesh terrorist group against 21 Egyptians in Libya, Al Zayani said.

He stressed in his statement that it was the inherent right of any state to maintain its security and independence and the safety of its citizens.

The differences between the two statements reflected the divergences in the views towards the tension that emerged between Egypt and Qatar at the Arab League meeting, Al Sharq Al Awsat said.

Diplomats said that the second statement reflected the real position of the GCC states and their strategic relations with Egypt.