Every Thursday, we bring you the latest updates on the blockade and GCC Crisis. Here's what happened last week: GCC Crisis Updates Week 179.
The Interior Ministry of Bahrain has accused three Qatari coastguard vessels of violating regional and international maritime agreements after two Bahraini coastguard vessels conducting a maritime exercise were intercepted in Qatari waters. It also said it would report this incident to the Gulf Cooperation Council and also mentioned that it hoped such an incident would not happen again, Reuters has reported.
Qatar's Minister of Interior later said the Bahraini coastguard vessels were stopped inside Qatari waters, but were allowed to leave after the Qatari Coastguard contacted the
Operations Room in Bahrain for clarification.
Meshal Al-Thani, who is Qatar’s ambassador to the United States, talked to Al-Monitor exclusively yesterday and told the news website that he is “optimistic” (Al-Monitor) that the recent flurry of diplomacy that has been taking place during the last days of the US President Donald Trump's administration may lead towards rebuilding relationships with the other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, namely Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt.
Meshal Al-Thani also spoke about Kuwait's support and mediation between Qatar and the blockading countries and praised remarks made by
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister and Acting Information Minister Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah during the 4th Kuwaiti-US strategic dialogue. (see news below for more details)
“We have seen some encouraging signals from the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia." (Al-Monitor)
Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud had this to say a few days ago:
“We continue to be willing to engage with our Qatari brothers and we hope that they are as committed to that engagement.” (Al-Monitor)
According to Meshal Al Thani, three steps could help heal the rift and these included opening the airspace for travel and the safety of aviation, allowing visits between families of these countries and allowing Qataris to travel to Makkah for Hajj and Umrah.
Read the full interview of Meshal Al-Thani HERE.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has praised Kuwait's efforts to resolve the Gulf crisis, according to QNA.
At a joint press conference at the end of the 4th Kuwaiti-US strategic dialogue with Kuwaiti Foreign Minister and Acting Information Minister Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, Pompeo hailed the joint work between the two countries on resolving disputes, saying:
"We are working to resolve other conflicts as well. The foreign minister and the Kuwaitis have been models in moving forward to heal the Gulf rift, and their assistance continues to be of great importance in that respect."
According to Kuwait News Agency, the US Secretary of State said that he and the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister had signed a memo of understanding for boosting cooperation in the areas of biomedical research and information exchange.
For his part, Kuwaiti foreign minister stressed the significance of Kuwaiti-US strategic dialogue, and underscored the importance of promoting cooperation between both countries in various realms and sectors amid the challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) has welcomed the decision of the UK Office of Communications (Ofcom) condemning Abu Dhabi TV channel for broadcasting a television interview that it claimed were confessions of Qatari citizen Hamad Al Hammadi during his arbitrary arrest in Abu Dhabi prisons in 2013, according to QNA.
Ofcom said that the channel, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Media Company P.J.S.C "ADMC" which has a license from Ofcom, broadcasted an interview on 22 June 2017 alleging they were confessions of a Qatari intelligence agent who was discrediting the UAE. Ofcom said that broadcasting the interview against Al Hammadi's will, who was tortured and ill-treated in prison, was a severe breach of the principles of fairness and privacy set out in the Ofcom Broadcasting Code. The decision also provided for imposing legal sanctions on the channel for its serious violation of articles (7.1 and 8.1) of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code.
The NHRC said that it considers Ofcom's condemnation, less than one month after a similar statement on Dr. Mahmoud Al-Jaida's case, clear evidence of Abu Dhabi TV and the UAE authorities' violations of basic human rights. The committee said that the second decision reflects the lack of professionalism of the channel and its use by Emirati authorities as a tool to cover-up human rights violations and to discredit Qatari citizens by charging them with false allegations and inciting against them. The committee added that the decision proves, beyond doubt, that the governmental Abu Dhabi TV is implicated in these practices, which forms a legal basis for holding the blockading countries' satellite TV channels accountable in court, given their violations of human rights and journalism ethics.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud has said that they are seeking a way to resolve the three-year diplomatic dispute with Qatar, but there are conditions with regards to security issues that need to be addressed, according to Al Jazeera.
In October 2020, Prince Faisal had said that Saudi Arabia was committed to finding a resolution:
“We continue to be willing to engage with our Qatari brothers and we hope that they are as committed to that engagement.”
“But, we do need to address the legitimate security concerns of the quartet and I think there is a path toward that”
with a solution
“in the relatively near future”.
To read the full news, click HERE.
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