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23:47 19-11-2017
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Arab states seek to step up pressure on Qatar over 2013 accord
World | politics | 13:15, 11 July 2017 | 525
Image: REUTERS

AKIPRESS.COM - Four Arab states sought on Monday to pile pressure on Qatar over charges it backs terrorism, saying the publication of a previously secret accord between Riyadh and Doha showed Qatar broke a promise not to meddle in the affairs of Gulf countries, Reutersreported.

The text of the 2013 accord, whose existence was known but whose contents have never before been made public, was first published by CNN on Monday and later released on social media by Saudi officials.

In a joint statement, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates said the publication of the accord, meant to settle a dispute between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors, "confirms beyond any doubt Qatar's failure to meet its commitments and its full violation of its pledges".

Amid fresh tension with Qatar, the four slapped sanctions on Doha on June 5, accusing it of supporting terrorism, cozying up to Iran, backing the Muslim Brotherhood - the world's oldest Islamist organization - and interference in their affairs.

The four say Qatar pledged to desist from interfering in its neighbors' politics in the 2013 agreement.

Qatar has rejected the charges and said the four countries are trying to impose their own views on its foreign policies.

The document surfaced as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in the region to help Washington's allies hammer out a way out of the crisis.

In response, Qatar accused Saudi Arabia and the UAE of breaking the spirit of the Riyadh agreement and engaging in an "unwarranted and unprecedented attack on Qatar's sovereignty".

The Riyadh accord aimed to enhance cooperation between sovereign Gulf Arab states and avoid interference in their internal affairs, the official Qatar News Agency (QNA) said.

Kuwaiti mediation efforts hit a snag last week when the four Arab states said they were disappointed with Qatar's response to their list of 13 demands.

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