Bahrain FM: Qatar has burned its bridges with GCC

Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid Al Khalifa. (AFP)
Updated 06 December 2018
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Bahrain FM: Qatar has burned its bridges with GCC

  • Al Khalifa described the Qatar crisis as a very deep disagreement that has reached a point not seen before in rifts between GCC countries
  • The most important topic to be discussed at the upcoming GCC summit is strategic military cooperation between GCC states

LONDON: Qatar has burned its bridges with the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and aligned itself with “enemies of the region like Iran,” Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid Al Khalifa has said.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Al Khalifa described the Qatar crisis as a very deep disagreement that has reached a point not seen before in rifts between GCC countries.
Al Khalifa added that he did not know how Qatar would return from this point, having distanced itself from other GCC countries after aligning itself with Iran.
“These issues do not indicate that Qatar will remain a member of the GCC, but we are dealing with this topic realistically,” he said.
The minister said that Qatar had “burned all ships of return to the Council,” and that a new agreement and system are needed in order to solve the crisis. He also said that Doha should be scrutinized and put under a “microscope.”
Speaking ahead of the GCC summit set to be held in Riyadh on Sunday, Al Khalifa said that the hostile policy pursued by Qatar against other GCC states is clear, notably Doha’s hostility toward Saudi Arabia.
He added that the most important topic to be discussed at the upcoming GCC summit is strategic military cooperation between GCC states, and that decisions will be made regarding this.


Iraq offers to mediate in crisis between US and Iran

Updated 27 May 2019
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Iraq offers to mediate in crisis between US and Iran

  • ‘We are trying to help and to be mediators’
  • The crisis takes root in President Donald Trump’s withdrawal last year of the US from the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers

BAGHDAD: Iraq offered to mediate in the crisis between its two key allies, the United States and Iran, amid escalating Middle East tensions and as Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers steadily unravels.
Iraqi foreign minister, Mohammed Al-Hakim, made the offer Sunday during a joint news conference in Baghdad with visiting Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.
“We are trying to help and to be mediators,” said Al-Hakim, adding that Baghdad “will work to reach a satisfactory solution” while stressing that Iraq stands against unilateral steps taken by Washington.
In recent weeks, tensions between Washington and Tehran soared over America deploying an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Arabian Gulf over a still-unexplained threat it perceives from Tehran.
The crisis takes root in President Donald Trump’s withdrawal last year of the US from the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers that capped Iran’s uranium enrichment activities in return to lifting sanctions. Washington subsequently re-imposed sanctions on Iran, sending its economy into freefall.
Trump has argued that the deal failed to sufficiently curb Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons or halt its support for militias throughout the Middle East that the US says destabilize the region, as well as address the issue of Tehran’s missiles, which can reach both US regional bases and Israel.
Zarif, who was been on a whirlwind diplomatic offensive to preserve the rest of the accord, insisted that Iran “did not violate the nuclear deal” and urged European nations to exert efforts to preserve the deal following the US pullout.
Speaking about the rising tensions with the US, Zarif said Iran will be able to “face the war, whether it is economic or military through steadfastness and its forces.” He also urged for a non-aggression agreement between Iran and Arab countries in the Gulf.
The mediation offer by Al-Hakim, Iraq’s foreign minister, echoed one made Saturday by Mohamad Al-Halbousi, the Iraqi parliament speaker. Al-Hakim also expressed concern for Iran’s spiraling economy.
“The sanctions against sisterly Iran are ineffective and we stand by its side,” Al-Hakim said.