Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—The foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are set to meet in Jeddah on Sunday to discuss ways to address Qatar’s lack of compliance with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) rules and regulations, a senior GCC official has told Asharq Al-Awsat.
The tripartite meeting comes after the GCC gave Doha a mid-week deadline to announce its compliance with the Riyadh agreement, which aimed to end the diplomatic dispute between Doha and other GCC states.
A senior GCC official, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to brief the media, confirmed that the three foreign ministers are set to meet in Jeddah to discuss the extent to which Doha has complied with the agreement. Signed in April earlier this year, the agreement bans GCC states from interfering in the domestic affairs of other member states and from supporting terror-related groups.
Qatar has come under increasing pressure from other GCC states for its naturalization process, and particularly offering citizenship to Bahraini nationals. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE had earlier recalled their ambassadors from Doha, saying that the move was taken to “protect their security and stability.”
Sunday’s meeting in Jeddah will be limited to officials representing the three countries who earlier issued a joint statement affirming that Qatar’s foreign policy is harmful to the GCC’s wider interests.
The three countries are yet to determine the nature of action they will take against Qatar, if any, the diplomat said.
The official said that there is a lack of consensus among the three Gulf states over possible ways to reach a settlement over the diplomatic crisis with Qatar, with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE seeking to unify their position.
Another Gulf official, also speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, described Sunday’s meeting as “critical.”
“This is the fourth in a series of meetings to monitor the mechanism of the implementation of the Riyadh agreement,” the official added.
Earlier this week, Qatar refused to sign the final report compiled by the GCC’s technical committee monitoring the implementation of the Riyadh agreement, claiming that it has “done all that is required of it.”
Adhwan Alahmari contributed reporting from London.