Bahrain calls on GCC to suspend Qatar's membership, threatens to boycott next summit
Oct 30, 2017 World 2 3373 By Abdulkerimu Oare
- Bahrain calls on GCC to suspend Qatar's membership, threatens to boycott next summit.
- Will not attend the next GCC summit if Qatar attends.
- Qatar accuses Bahrain and others of attempting to encroach on their sovereignty.
Bahrain has called on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to suspend Qatar's membership, threatening to boycott the next GCC summit if this does not happen.
Bahraini foreign minister, Khalid al-Khalifa disclosed this through a series of tweets on Sunday night where he called on the GCC to suspend Qatar until it meets the demands made by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the UAE.
"Bahrain will not attend the GCC summit and sit with Qatar ... The right step needed to maintain the GCC is to freeze Qatar's membership until it comes to its senses and complies with our list of demands," Khalifa said.
"Given what comes from Qatar, from its rogue policy and pervasive evil nature that threatens our national security, our countries have taken the important step of boycotting Qatar and imposing a siege on it," he added.
The comments were made shortly after the broadcast of a CBS interview with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, in which he condemned attempts to encroach on his country's sovereignty.
"Our sovereignty is a red line. We don't accept anybody interfering our sovereignty. When you tell me to close a channel like Al Jazeera, history will write one day in 50, 60 or 70 years how it changed the whole idea of free speech in the region," Sheikh Tamim said of the demands.
Bahrain and other territorial allies who accuse Qatar of supporting terrorist groups have imposed air, land and sea border blockades on the country (Qatar) since June; allegations which Qatar strongly denies.
Demands made by the quartet include suspension of support for groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, cooling of ties with Iran, shutting down Al Jazeera and several other media outlets, and the removal of Turkish troops from Qatar.
"They don't like our independence, the way how we are thinking, our vision for the region. We want freedom of speech for the people of the region. And they're not happy with that. And so they think that this is a threat to them," the emir told Charlie Rose on the 60 Minutes strand.