High-level Saudi delegation visits Qatar

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal (left) hold talks with Qatar's Emir Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. (Al Arabiya)

A high-level Saudi delegation led by Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, Intelligence Chief Khalid Bin Bandar and Interior Minister Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef paid a brief visit to Qatar on Wednesday.

The Saudi SPA news agency said the Saudi officials arrived in Doha on a “short brotherly visit.” Qatar’s QNA news agency carried a similar report, giving no details on the purpose of the trip.

The visit to Qatar came a month after Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani visited Saudi Arabia and held talks with King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.

 

The meeting was the first for the two Arab leaders since a major rift between Qatar and Saudi Arabia earlier this year.

Qatar bankrolled the Muslim Brotherhood government of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, who was overthrown by the military a year ago.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have since poured in money to support Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led the takeover and has since been elected president after outlawing and suppressing the Brotherhood.

In March Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates recalled their envoys to Qatar, saying the move was taken to "to protect their security and stability," a Saudi Press Agency statement said.

GCC countries "have exerted massive efforts to contact Qatar on all levels to agree on a unified policy... to ensure non-interference, directly or indirectly, in the internal affairs of any member state," the statement said.

 

GCC countries "have exerted massive efforts to contact Qatar on all levels to agree on a unified policy... to ensure non-interference, directly or indirectly, in the internal affairs of any member state," the statement said.

The nations have also asked Qatar "not to support any party aiming to threaten security and stability of any GCC member," it added, citing media campaigns against them in particular.

The foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar and Oman met last week to review efforts to heal the rift within members of the GCC, but Gulf media have said no breakthrough occurred.

“Qatar ... became a house and headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been (regarded) everywhere in the Arab world as a terrorist group,” said Abdullah al-Askar, head of the foreign affairs committee in Saudi Arabia’s appointed Shoura Council, which advises the Riyadh government on policy, according to Reuters.

Kuwait’s al-Watan newspaper quoted Gulf diplomatic sources as saying that move to resolve the dispute were “facing difficulties”. They said Saudi Arabia in particular had compiled a long list of notes on what it called Qatar’s failure to abide by an agreement that bars countries from meddling in each other’s affairs.

GCC officials are due to hold another meeting on Saturday, which has been described as having “special importance”. The meeting, announced this week, is expected to discuss “a number of issues related to the path of GCC joint action.”

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Last Update: 20:49 KSA 23:49 - GMT 20:49
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