Bahrain FM: Qatar has burned its bridges with GCC

Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid Al Khalifa. (AFP)
Updated 06 December 2018

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 prisoner exchange talks open in Switzerland

United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths. (AP)
Updated 19 September 2020

Yemen prisoner exchange talks open in Switzerland

  • The Yemen conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, most of them civilians, and sparked what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis

GENEVA: Rival parties in Yemen’s war opened UN-sponsored talks on Friday aimed at an exchange deal for the release of more than 1,400 prisoners, the UN said.
The internationally recognized government and Iran-backed Houthi rebels agreed to exchange some 15,000 detainees as part of peace deal brokered by the UN in Sweden in 2018.
The two sides have since made sporadic prisoner swaps, but the release of 900 loyalists in exchange for 520 insurgents — if it materializes — would mark the first large-scale handover since the war erupted in 2014.
“The #Yemen Prisoners & Detainees Committee meeting started today. I am grateful to #Switzerland for hosting it & to @ICRC for co-chairing,” UN envoy Martin Griffiths tweeted, without giving an exact location for the talks.

FASTFACT

The two sides have since made sporadic prisoner swaps, but the release of 900 loyalists in exchange for 520 insurgents — if it materializes — would mark the first large-scale handover since the war erupted in 2014.

“My message to the Parties is: conclude discussions, release detainees swiftly, bring relief to thousands of Yemeni families,” he wrote.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), for its part, said it was ready to help with the return of detainees to their families.
A source close to Yemen’s presidency said on Wednesday that the talks in Switzerland would “lay out the final touches” after agreement was reached with the ICRC “on all logistical arrangements.”
Gen. Nasser Mansour Hadi, brother of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, along with several politicians and journalists, would be among those released, he said.
A former senior intelligence official, the general has been held by the rebels ever since they overran Sanaa in late 2014.
The Yemen conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, most of them civilians, and sparked what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.