Saudi, UAE and Bahrain announce withdrawal of ambassadors from Qatar

qatar flag!

Jidhu Jose/Flickr

With reporting from Peter Kovessy and Nada Badawi

In a joint statement issued today, three GCC countries have said they are withdrawing their ambassadors from Qatar in the name of “security and stability.”

UAE state news agency WAM reports in Arabic that the unprecedented decision was made by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain following a meeting of foreign ministers yesterday in Riyadh.

The move appears to be largely symbolic, as two of the three ambassadors in question are already out of the country for reasons unrelated to this decision.

Status of diplomats

Reached by Doha News, the Bahrain Embassy in Doha said its ambassador had left for “personal reasons” but had planned to return next week. The UAE’s ambassador left in December, and had yet to be replaced. Saudi Arabia’s ambassador remains in the country, but was not available for comment.

Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not yet commented on the announcement, but released a statement earlier today about Tuesday’s meeting. It said:

HE Foreign Minister Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah on Tuesday took part in the 130th session of the GCC ministerial meeting in Riyadh. The meeting reviewed joint GCC work on all fronts and discussed the latest Arab, regional and international developments.

In a statement to QNA, HE Dr. Al-Attiyah highlighted the importance of cooperation between GCC states in all fields and the significance of “unity and common destiny.

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