Bahrain FM keen to preserve GCC in its present form

Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa. (AFP)
Updated 22 September 2017
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Bahrain FM keen to preserve GCC in its present form

JEDDAH: Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled Al-Khalifa stressed in an interview with Russia Today TV on Thursday that the Anti-Terror Quartet (ATQ) countries were keen to preserve the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in its present form. He expressed hope that the crisis could be dealt with before the coming GCC summit in Kuwait.
He also told Russia Today that the Quartet countries had not blockaded or threatened Qatar, and that they were ready to sit with the country to discuss demands put forth by the ATQ.
Al-Khalifa denied any connection with the Qatari opposition group in London.
The foreign minister noted that the causes of the crisis, which only surfaced 100 days ago, began a long time ago and “We were patient with Qatari behavior for a long time and signed agreements which Doha did not respect.”
As for Kuwait’s mediation in the Qatar crisis, he confirmed that the “mediation is still there and we hope it succeeds, but we see some steps and intransigence by Qatar” which have prevented any progress.
Al-Khalifa stressed that there was no time limit for the end of the crisis because “the defense of our interests should not be restricted by time, even if the crisis continues for 10 years. What is important is to reach a real solution.”


Iran launches air maneuvers near Strait of Hormuz

Updated 39 min 26 sec ago
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Iran launches air maneuvers near Strait of Hormuz

  • The drill involves the military’s and Revolutionary Guard fighter jets

TEHRAN, Iran: Iran’s official IRNA news agency says the country’s air force is carrying out a drill near the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Arabian Gulf, the passageway for nearly a third of all oil traded by sea.
Friday’s report says the drill involves the military’s and Revolutionary Guard fighter jets, including US-made F-4, French Mirage and Russian Sukhoi-22 planes. Five logistics and combat helicopters are also taking part in the exercise over the Arabian Gulf waters and the Sea of Oman.
It says the maneuver is a warning to Iran’s enemies that they face a quick, “stern response” in case of force toward Iran.
The exercise is part of annual manifestations on the anniversary of the start of the eight-year war Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein launched against Iran in 1980.