Have you missed this week's top stories related to GCC crisis? No worries! Read our quick round-up of the most important stories from the past few days.
On April 8, officials from eight countries—Saudi Arabia, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Jordan—convened in Riyadh to discuss the American initiative to form the “Middle East Strategic Alliance,” also known as the “Arab NATO,” aimed at confronting Iran’s growing influence in the region. Egypt did not attend the meeting, and a Reuters report from April 11 stated that it had decided to withdraw from the initiative and had informed Saudi Arabia and the United States of this in advance, reported JNS.
According to the report, Egypt questions the motives behind the initiative and fears it will exacerbate tensions with Iran; furthermore, it is concerned about the fate of the initiative if U.S. President Donald Trump is not re-elected in 2020.
The State of Qatar has renewed its support for the International Impartial and Independent Mechanism to hold accountable those accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria, stressing that sustainable peace in Syria can only be achieved through justice by ensuring accountability, says a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This came in a statement made by HE Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations Sheikha Alia Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani at the UN General Assembly meeting on the report of the "International Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Persons Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011."
In yet another shocking act of mixing politics with sport, the UAE Athletics Federation didn't allow their athletes to take part in the Asian Athletics Championships which was held from 21 to 24 April 2019 at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar. Asia’s best athletes took to the state-of-the-art Khalifa International Stadium to compete for as many as 186 medals across various track and field disciplines, the Emirati athletes lost out on valuable preparation for the IAAF World Athletics Championships, the Gulf Times.
Asian Athletics Association president and IAAF vice-president Dahlan al-Hamad slammed the decision, saying it was a strange and unacceptable approach which shows the UAE is only interested in politics.
He said: “How can Asia vote for such a strange approach, whatever the justifications and reasoning might be, as they claim that the reason is the non-approval of the UAE Foreign Ministry. This is not acceptable and contradicts the rules and regulations of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) as well as the AAA.”
(Cover image source: The Peninsula Qatar)
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