Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Ale Thani says the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) has no executive power left, calling for change to the structure of the six-member regional intergovernmental political and economic union.
During a meeting with visiting PGCC Secretary General Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani and his Omani counterpart Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah in the Qatari capital Doha on Saturday evening, Ale Thani said the Riyadh-based Council, which comprises of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is in need of new principles of management, Russia’s RT Arabic television news network reported.
On December 15, 2018, the top Qatari diplomat described the PGCC as a “toothless” organization, incapable of holding its members to account.
“They have mechanisms in place and never trigger them, because some countries believe they are non-binding,” he said at the time.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5, 2017, after officially accusing it of “sponsoring terrorism.”
The administration of the Saudi-backed and former Yemeni President, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, Libya, the Maldives, Djibouti, Senegal and the Comoros later joined the camp in ending diplomatic ties with Doha. Jordan downgraded its diplomatic relations as well.
Qatar’s Foreign Ministry later announced that the decision to cut diplomatic ties was unjustified and based on false claims and assumptions.
On June 9, 2017, Qatar strongly dismissed allegations of supporting terrorism after the Saudi regime and its allies blacklisted dozens of individuals and entities purportedly associated with Doha.
Later that month, Saudi Arabia and its allies released a 13-point list of demands, including the closure of Al Jazeera television network and downgrade of relations with Iran, in return for the normalization of diplomatic relations with Doha.
The document containing the demands by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain also asked Qatar to sever all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement.
Qatar rejected the demands as “unreasonable.”