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    Bahrain Calls for Freezing Qatar's Membership in Gulf Cooperation Council

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    Bahrain's Foreign Minister Khaled bin Ahmed Al Khalifa urged on Monday to freeze Qatar's membership in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in order to preserve the organization.

    CAIRO (Sputnik) — "The right step to preserve the GCC is to freeze Qatar's membership in the Council… Bahrain will not attend the summit and sit with Qatar, which is coming closer with Iran and preparing foreign forces, which pose a threat to the security of GCC countries," Al Khalifa said on Twitter.

    The GCC summit is scheduled to take place in December in Kuwait. Earlier in October, Kuwaiti media reported that the meeting might be postponed for half a year due to the lack of progress on settlement of the ongoing diplomatic crisis in the Persian Gulf.

    The Golf Cooperation Council is an alliance of the Middle East countries, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, whose main goal is to foster economic and military cooperation between the states.

    Gulf States Want Regime Change in Doha

    Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has said in the air of CBS Broadcaster that Persian Gulf states had entered into a confrontation with Qatar due to its "independent" policy and these monarchies want a regime change in Doha.

    "They don't like our independence, the way how we are thinking, our vision for the region… They want a regime change. It's… so obvious," Al Thani said.

    According to Al Thani, Qatar will not shut down Al Jazeera broadcaster as it was demanded by the Gulf states.

    "We want freedom of speech for the people of the region. And they're not happy with that. And so they think that this is a threat to them… Our sovereignty is a red line. We don't accept anybody interfering our sovereignty. When you tell me to close a channel like Al Jazeera, history will write one day in 50, 60 or 70 years how it changed the whole idea of free speech in the region… we're not gonna shut down Al Jazeera," Al Thani added.

    Qatari Emir added that Doha wants to end this crisis, however "nothing is gonna be above our [Qatari] dignity, our sovereignty."

    In early June, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism and meddling in their internal affairs. Kuwait, acting as a mediator in the crisis, handed over to Doha an ultimatum containing 13 demands on behalf of the four states. The list included requests to sever Qatar’s relations with Iran, close Turkey’s military base in Qatar and shut down the Al Jazeera, as well as to end support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Qatar has refuted all accusations and refused to comply with the demands.

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    Tags:
    ultimatum, diplomatic row, crisis, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Khaled bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Qatar, Bahrain
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