Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (middle) speaking at the press confernece
CAIRO – 5 June 2017: A meeting between the foreign ministers of the four foreign ministers of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia will be held in Manama to respond to Qatar’s rejection of their demands, according to a Wednesday press conference in Cairo.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry read a joint statement of his Arab counterparts, where they expressed their “commitment to all means of confronting terrorism and hate speech.” They added that they will stick to Al Riyadh agreement along with what was agreed during the Arab Islamic–American summit held in Riyadh last May.
“All the international community should show commitment towards confronting terrorism attempts,” Shoukry said.
Shoukry added that all the steps that have been and will be taken against Qatar come within the international law and regulations.
Bahrain’s Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa said that a quartet summit at the level of foreign ministers will be held “regularly,” and that the Wednesday meeting is “preparatory” to respond to the “negative response” of Qatar to the Arab demands.
Adel al-Jubeir of Saudi Arabia described Iran as “one of the biggest countries which support terrorism in the world,” and that the Arab bloc has been able to foil a number of terrorist plots as a result of good relations with four governments with international intelligence bodies.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir at the press conference
“Terrorists wanted to target Mecca and Medina along with all the religious and holy places around the world.” Jubeir said.
The Four ministers said their intentions are not to harm Qatar or the Qatari people.
“With helping Qatar we are helping ourselves in the region,” Shoukry said.
“Though our prolonged patience towards Qatar and its behavior, we did not find any serious response from Doha’s government towards our callings; however, If Qatar chooses to remain on this track, our choice will be to remain separate.” UAE’s Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said.
Qatar’s relations with several Arab and Gulf states have strained since May 24, when the Qatari state-run news agency reported Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani’s statements regarding Gulf foreign policy with Iran as “unwise.”
The foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia (left), UAE, Egypt and Bahrain at Tahrir Palace in Cairo
On June 5, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Libya and Yemen decided to cut all diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing the tiny state of supporting terrorism. Ports and airspace of the four neighboring countries have been cut off to Qatari vessels and aircrafts.
On June 6, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah started a tour that included Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar in mediation attempts.