Saudi FM: Gulf rift hinges on Qatari policies

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE had recalled their envoys to Qatar, saying the move was taken 'to protect their stability'

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Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said the political crisis with Qatar is unlikely to be solved "as long as Doha does not revise its policy," the Saudi-owned al-Hayat newspaper cited him as saying on Tuesday.

In an unprecedented move within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain recalled their ambassadors from Qatar on March 5, accusing Doha of failing to abide by an accord not to interfere in each others' internal affairs.

The three GCC states are angry at Qatar's support for the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist movement whose ideology challenges the principle of conservative dynastic rule long dominant in the Gulf.

"If Qatar’s policy, which sparked the crisis, is amended, then there will be a breakthrough," he told the newspaper.

The minister also said that it is unlikely that Western mediation will play a hand in settling the dispute with Doha.

"There is no American mediation to resolve the Gulf crisis," he said.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE had recalled their envoys, saying the move was taken "to protect their security and stability."

The trio also said that Qatar had not “committed to the principles” of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, and said "Qatar has to take the appropriate steps to ensure the security of the GCC states."

Al-Hayat quoted sources as telling the newspaper last week that a number of Saudi officials did not attend bilateral meetings in Doha with their Qatari counterparts.

By not attending the meetings, scheduled to be held in the past two weeks, indications of a deepening crisis between Qatar and the Gulf trio have emerged.

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