Bahrain Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa has described the ongoing dispute with Qatar as “unprecedented and very deep” as Qatar has spoiled chances of returning to the GCC fold.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, he said that Doha “has burned the return ships to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the dispute can’t be solved by just a hug. There must be a new agreement and new regime and Doha should be placed under scrutiny.”
“I do not know how Qatar will return. It has committed to the enemies of the region, such as Iran, and separated itself from the GCC. We are realistic in dealing with this issue and we don’t want to waste more time,” he affirmed.
The minister emphasized that Qatar was the least to commit to the GCC agreements. Underlining the need for reforms in Doha, he noted that the Arab Quartet was holding on its stance and conditions with regard to the crisis.
He added that three quarters of these conditions are related to two Riyadh agreements in addition to the presence of Turkish troops. The majority of the terms of the agreements were signed by the Emir of Qatar in front the leaders and promised to abide by them.
Al Arabiya reported that Sheikh Khalid said that the GCC summit due next Sunday in the Saudi capital Riyadh will discuss the strategic military cooperation between the member countries and that the summit is expected to arrive at a number of resolutions.
As for Qatari representation in the summit, he said: “The Qatari representation is not of concern to us, its presence or absence is the same, no one looks at our stance toward Qatar. What we did was a reaction to what Qatar did and adopt. But does Qatar belong to the GCC? It is a member but it helps foreign troops instead of forces it belongs to like the Peninsula Shield Forces. The foreign troops present on the Qatari soil is the biggest threat Doha created to threaten GCC countries.”
Bahrain Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa denied reports related to the visit of Israeli officials to Bahrain, saying that: “What is reported today is incorrect. There is no plan for a visit by the prime minister of Israel. There were no contacts in this regard. Nothing happened in fact and if these visits happened we will not hesitate to declare them.”