Saturday 21 April 2018

Arab states to step up pressure on Qatar over 2013 accord

DUBAI, July 11, 2017

The Saudi-led coalition comprising Bahrain, UAE and Egypt are seeking to pile more pressure on Qatar over charges it backs terrorism, saying the publication of a previously secret accord between Riyadh and Doha showed Qatar broke a promise not to meddle in the affairs of Gulf countries, reported Reuters.

The text of the 2013 agreement, whose existence was known but whose contents have never before been made public, was first published by CNN on Monday and later released on social media by Saudi officials, stated the report.

Reacting to the CNN report, the Saudi-led coalition said the documents published including the Riyadh Agreement (2013), its Executive Mechanism and the Riyadh Supplementary Agreement (2014), confirm beyond any doubt Qatar's failure to meet its commitments and its full violation of its pledges, reported state news agency Wam.

It emphasised that the 13 demands submitted to the Qatari government were to fulfill their previous pledges and commitments and that the demands were originally stated in the Riyadh Agreement, its mechanism and the Supplementary Agreement and are fully in line with the spirit of what was agreed upon, the report added.

In a new round of tension with Qatar, the four states had slapped sanctions on Doha on June 5, accusing it of supporting terrorism, cosying up to Iran, backing the Muslim Brotherhood - the world's oldest Islamist organisation, and interference in their affairs.

The four say Qatar pledged to desist from interfering in its neighbours' politics in the 2013 agreement.

The agreement had been reached at a meeting in Riyadh hosted by the then Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and was signed by the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber al-Sabah, while an implementation mechanism was signed by the six GCC foreign ministers, said the report.

In the document, the parties agreed to refrain from supporting any "political currents that pose a threat to any member country of the GCC", and provides for Muslim Brotherhood leaders who are non-GCC citizens to leave the area, it added.

Qatar has rejected the charges and said the four countries are trying to impose their own views on its foreign policies, reported Reuters.

The document surfaced as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in the region to help Washington's allies hammer out a way out of the crisis that has divided the region, it added.

Tags: Bahrain | Qatar | UAE | Saudi | arab | pressure |

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