Gulf states establish ‘hot lines’ to address humanitarian cases in Qatar

Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have cut diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar. (File photo: AP)

Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain said in a joint statement on Friday that it was decided to “take many decisions” including establishing “hot lines” in their three countries to tackle humanitarian and health cases in Qatar.

The three countries and Egypt have cut diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar.

The joint statement made was in response to Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, voicing alarm on Wednesday over possible impact on the rights of the Qatari people amid Gulf tensions.

“For the sake of our brotherly Qatari people, which is a natural extension of its brothers in the three States, it was decided to take many measures aimed at addressing humanitarian and health cases, establish hot lines in each country so that cases can be reported and appropriate action be taken, in a manner consistent with international obligations under international human rights law and our long humanitarian traditions,” they said in a statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

They also reaffirmed their “willingness” to continue protecting stability of the region including that of Qatar’s.

They said they will “continue working with the concerned parties in order to achieve the desired results of this break-up, namely, to maintain security, to combat terrorism and to safeguard the stability and well-being of the people of the region, including the brotherly Qatari people in full respect for their human rights’ and international humanitarian law’s commitments.”

The countries further defended their stance over their Qatar boycott by saying it is their “sovereign right.”

“Decisions to cut ties with Qatar are a sovereign right of the States concerned and aim to protect their national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism,” they said. “These decisions came after exhausting all possible means as a result of Qatar’s failure to comply with the Riyadh Agreement for the Return of Ambassadors and its Supplementary Agreement of 2014, and its continued support, funding, and hosting of terrorist, extremist and sectarian organizations.”

In 2014, Qatari envoys were withdrawn from the UAE, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia in protest against Doha’s support to the Muslim Brotherhood. However, tensions were later resolved following the Riyadh agreement.

The three countries added: “These decisions were taken in full conformity with the fundamental principles of Public International Law.”


Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49