Home > News > World
Sunday August 31, 2014 MYT 1:20:03 AM
Sunday August 31, 2014 MYT 1:21:06 AM
JEDDAH (Reuters) - Gulf Arab foreign ministers met in Jeddah on Saturday but took no big step towards ending a diplomatic row that has undermined their ability collectively to influence Middle East events.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in March withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar, saying it had broken promises to them about Gulf security, which analysts connected to Doha's support for the Muslim Brotherhood.
A visit by three top Saudi princes, including Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, to Doha on Wednesday had prompted widespread speculation in Gulf media that Saturday's meeting would result in a resolution or escalation of the rift.
Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Sabah, whose country has tried to mediate in the dispute, said Saturday's meeting had led to limited progress. But he did not announce any concrete step to end the rift at a news conference after the meeting.
"What has been agreed upon today is to lay the foundation and the criteria by which implementation will follow. We will hasten in removing all unknown factors and obstacles to complete this process," he said.
"Today the six countries agreed on these grounds, next we’ll follow up the implementation .. All agreed that there is a commitment to implementation," he added.
Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE are big supporters of Syrian rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad, an ally of Iran.
But Riyadh and Abu Dhabi have accused Doha of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group they have labelled a terrorist organisation and which they accuse of destabilising their close ally Egypt.
In Libya, Qatar has backed some Islamist groups, but on Tuesday the U.S. State Department said the UAE had been involved in air strikes against Libyan Islamist groups.
In late 2011 Saudi Arabia pushed for Gulf Cooperation Council members to unite "as a single entity" in a bid to join the group of six monarchies into a united front against Iran and the instability caused by that year's Arab uprisings.
However, the GCC, which also includes Kuwait and Oman, appears more divided than at any point in its 33-year history.
(Reporting By Angus McDowall and Amena Bakr; Editing by Stephen Powell)
Arabs vow to confront Islamic State, cooperate with international efforts
U.S. wins Arab support for Syria/Iraq military campaign
Alliance says will curb flow of funds, fighters to Islamic State
India says to defend China border after standoff ahead of Xi visit
Libyan PM accuses Qatar of sending planes with weapons to Tripoli
Polish PM Kopacz wins confidence vote in parliament
Ex-NATO chief Rasmussen opens consultancy advising governments, companies
Kenyatta trial must probe witness tampering says activist
Greek government seeks confidence vote to dampen snap polls talk
Up to 18 exposed to U.S. Ebola patient, including children
Hong Kong leader plays waiting game, protesters demand he resigns
Is your phone too big? Just slip on this silicon thumb!
Spook-tacular fun for Halloween
Open Source gets Microsoft’s support
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)