Flag of Qatar - Photo courtesy of Flacker Photo Creative
CAIRO – 28 February 2018: The Arab quartet countries of Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia issued a statement responding to the Qatari foreign minister’s speech at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Wednesday, February 28.
The statement, titled “Right of Reply”, stated that Qatar once again sought to bring the Gulf-Arab diplomatic dispute to the UNHRC to be discussed as a huge diplomatic issue. “We believe that this crisis should be solved only through the Kuwaiti mediation. This is the best way of tackling and discussing the dispute’s reasons and consequences,” the statement read.
The four countries stressed that they still have comments on Doha’s behaviors against its neighbors. “The Qatari leaders still violate the international agreements, finance terrorists and back extremists,” the statement read. It concluded affirming that the quartet countries just want Doha to change its attitude and immediately stop backing terrorist groups.
On February 23, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that Qatar is not how it presents itself to the international community. “It hides its dark side, which calls for and supports terrorism,” he added.
During his speech at the Foreign Relations Committee of the European Parliament, Jubeir addressed different issues, including Qatar, Iran and the Syrian crisis. He said that the Arab quartet only demands that Doha stop financing terrorism and stick to the Gulf and Arabian principles.
On June 5, Qatar was hit by its biggest diplomatic crisis in years after multiple Arab nations, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E. and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Doha and imposed economic sanctions, accusing it of funding terrorism – a claim Qatar rejects. The Arab quartet halted all land, air and sea traffic to and from Qatar, and withdrew their diplomats and ambassadors from the country.
The Arab quartet issued 13 demands to Doha – then shortened to six principles – which included turning down the provocative voice of its news channel, Al-Jazeera; curbing relations with Iran; and not intervening in the domestic issues of Arab nations.
The demands were met by Doha's procrastination, which aborted all attempts to solve the dispute.