The Al Jazeera has reported that, in reply to rumours that have been doing the rounds that Qatar is planning to quit the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Her Excellency (H.E.) Lolwah Al Khater, Qatar's spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and assistant to the deputy foreign minister, responded at a virtual meeting on the protection of civilians in armed conflict by saying that:
"Reports claiming that Qatar is considering leaving the GCC are wholly incorrect and baseless."
"Such rumours must have originated from people's despair and disappointment with a fractured GCC, which used to be a source of hope and aspiration for the people of the six member countries."
In other words, people in the region were, perhaps, now "doubting and questioning" the credibility of a council like the GCC whose six members include Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain and which has the joint responsibility of overseeing economic and military coordination within the Gulf region.
She went on to add:
"As we are reaching the third year of the illegal blockade on Qatar by Saudi, UAE and Bahrain, there is no wonder why the people of the GCC are doubting and questioning the GCC as an institution. Qatar hopes the GCC will once again be a platform of cooperation and coordination. An effective GCC is needed now more than ever, given the challenges facing our region."
The meeting was also attended by Qatar's permanent representative to the UN, H.E. Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani who mentioned in her statement that the blockade on Qatar threatened the security and stability of the region, along with violating international law and contradicting the orientations of the international community.
On 5 June 2020, Qatar will mark three years of the blockade that was imposed on it by GCC members Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain, along with non-GCC member Egypt after the four countries cut diplomatic, economic and travel ties after making baseless accusations on its fellow GCC-member Qatar that included harbouring terrorism, backing hardline Islamic movements and a "too close" relationship with Iran.
Cover image credit: Gulf International Forum
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