Saudi Arabia insists Gulf crisis resolved within GCC
Kuwait, July 22 (IANS) Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said that the crisis between Qatar and a Saudi-led Arab alliance would only be resolved with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Al-Jubeir made the remarks on Friday in Rome, Italy, after meeting with his Italian counterpart Angelino Alfano, Xinhua news agency reported.
Al-Jubeir said the Saudi-led bloc, which also includes the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt, hopes Qatar would accept and commit to six principles it has tabled.
The principles include demands for Doha to commit to fighting terrorism and extremism and preventing their financing, prohibit inciting propaganda against its neighbours, and stop interfering in their internal affairs, the state-run Kuwaiti news agency KUNA reported.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, as well as Qatar, are all members of the six-nation GCC, whose members also include Oman and Kuwait, which have not joined the anti-Qatari bloc. Kuwait has been playing the role of mediator to broker an end to the Gulf standoff.
The crisis started early last month when the Saudi-led alliance abruptly cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed a blockade on the tiny rich Gulf nation, citing its support of terrorism and interference in their internal affairs.
Initially, the Saudi-led bloc issued a list of 13 demands for Doha to correct its policies, including closing the Al-Jazeera TV, stopping financial support to terrorism and downgrading its ties with Iran, as preconditions for resuming diplomatic ties.
Qatar has rejected the charges while refusing to accept the demands, citing the right to defend its sovereignty.