Bahrain FM: Qatar has burned its bridges with GCC

Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid Al Khalifa. (AFP)
Updated 06 December 2018
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Bahrain FM: Qatar has burned its bridges with GCC

  • Al Khalifa described the Qatar crisis as a very deep disagreement that has reached a point not seen before in rifts between GCC countries
  • The most important topic to be discussed at the upcoming GCC summit is strategic military cooperation between GCC states

LONDON: Qatar has burned its bridges with the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and aligned itself with “enemies of the region like Iran,” Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid Al Khalifa has said.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Al Khalifa described the Qatar crisis as a very deep disagreement that has reached a point not seen before in rifts between GCC countries.
Al Khalifa added that he did not know how Qatar would return from this point, having distanced itself from other GCC countries after aligning itself with Iran.
“These issues do not indicate that Qatar will remain a member of the GCC, but we are dealing with this topic realistically,” he said.
The minister said that Qatar had “burned all ships of return to the Council,” and that a new agreement and system are needed in order to solve the crisis. He also said that Doha should be scrutinized and put under a “microscope.”
Speaking ahead of the GCC summit set to be held in Riyadh on Sunday, Al Khalifa said that the hostile policy pursued by Qatar against other GCC states is clear, notably Doha’s hostility toward Saudi Arabia.
He added that the most important topic to be discussed at the upcoming GCC summit is strategic military cooperation between GCC states, and that decisions will be made regarding this.


Yemen groups agree to reopen Sanaa airport, still in talks on port at Sweden talks

Updated 12 December 2018
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Yemen groups agree to reopen Sanaa airport, still in talks on port at Sweden talks

  • Askar Zaeel, a member of the government delegation, said his camp would hold firm to UN Security Council Resolution 2216
  • Multiple draft proposals have been submitted to the two delegations over the past week

RIMBO, Sweden: Yemen's warring parties agreed on Wednesday to reopen Sanaa airport in the Houthi-held capital, sources said, as Western nations press the two sides to agree on confidence-building measures before the end of the first UN-led peace talks in two years.
The Iranian-backed Houthi movement and the Arab coalition-backed government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi were still discussing a UN proposal on the contested port city of Hodeidah, a lifeline for millions of Yemenis.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is due to attend final talks in Sweden on Thursday to support his envoy's efforts to launch a political process to end the nearly four-year-old war. Another round of talks could be held in early 2019.
The Houthi militia hold most population centres, including Hodeidah and the capital Sanaa from which it ousted Hadi's government in 2014. The government is now based in the southern port of Aden.
The two parties agreed that international flights would stop at a government-held airport for inspections before flying in or out of Sanaa, two sources familiar with the talks said.
They have yet to agree on whether those inspections would be in Aden airport or that of Sayun, the sources added.
The Arab coalition intervened in the war in 2015 to restore Hadi's government controls the air space.
UN envoy Martin Griffiths, trying to avert a full-scale assault on Hodeidah, where coalition forces have massed on the outskirts, is asking both sides to withdraw from the city.
His proposal envisions an interim entity being formed to run the city and port and international monitors being deployed.
Asked if the government could accept that proposal, culture minister Marwan Dammaj said: "We are still discussing it."
Both sides have agreed to a UN role in the port, the entry point for most of Yemen's commercial imports and vital aid, but differ on who should run the city. The Houthi militia want Hodeidah declared a neutral zone, while Hadi's government believes the city should fall under its control as a matter of sovereignty.
"The devil is in the details - withdraw how far (from Hodeidah), the sequence, who governs and delivers services," said one diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.
They have also yet to agree on shoring up the central bank, and on a transitional governing body, although a deal was struck on a prisoner swap that could see 15,000 prisoners released.