RIYADH (dpa) – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are to return their ambassadors to Qatar, eight months after withdrawing them in a spat over the emirate’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood.
A statement issued after a Sunday night meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council leaders in the Saudi capital Riyadh said that participants had reached a new agreement complementing an April deal in which they undertook not to interfere in each others’ internal affairs or undermine each others security. “On that basis, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have decided to return their ambassadors to Qatar,” the statement added.
Gulf states and Egypt have condemned Qatar for supporting the Muslim Brotherhood by hosting its exiled leaders and providing the group with a platform on its Al-Jazeera satellite channel.
In September, Qatari authorities asked a number of Egyptian leaders who had taken refuge there after the overthrow of Egypt’s president Mohammed Morsi in 2013 to leave the emirate. The move was seen as a step towards reconciliation with its neighbours, who strongly support Egypt’s new leadership under former army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi.
Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have all declared the Muslim Brotherhood to be a terrorist organisation – a designation the group rejects, saying it is committed to peaceful means. The UAE’s new list of terrorist organisations, issued on Sunday, also includes major Muslim community organisations in France, Britain and Italy seen as close to the Brotherhood, and the charity Islamic Relief.