Qatar called Saturday for a new alliance that would replace the four-decade-old Gulf Cooperation Council.
“The regional alliance has been undermined,” Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed told policymakers at the two-day Doha Forum.
Instead of blaming his government for not reacting to demands made by the majority of the council’ members, the minister said the GCC had “no teeth” to resolve any dispute.
The minister was speaking after Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, stayed away from the GCC’s annual summit in Riyadh last Sunday despite receiving an invitation from its Saudi hosts.
Bahrain, UAE reactions
Bahrain’s Foreign Minister responded on Twitter on Saturday, saying that “Qatar calls for dialogue and does not attend the Riyadh summit, and calls for mutual respect and it attacks our leaders and our countries around the clock, and calls for non-interference in the internal affairs while interfering and not conspiring non-stop. Above all of this, what siege do they speak of”.
The Qatari statements on the GCC also elicited a response from UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash.
“The Emir of Qatar at the Doha Forum refuses interference in his internal affairs and sticks to his country's policies by interfering in the internal affairs of his neighbors and the countries of the region, a double standard that bears the fingerprints of the former emir, and in short, we will not see a fundamental change that allows the young leadership to manage things realistically,” he wrote.
The three major members of the GCC, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain (all direct neighbors to Qatar) have been compalining for years that Doha is supporting terrorist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood which they blacklist but with which Qatar has longstanding ties.
Also the emirate was working against the GCC by advocating improved relations with Iran.
They set out their complaints in a 13-point list of demands that has been rejected by Doha.