Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Bahrain affirmed Friday that their recent moves to diplomatically isolate Qatar are within their rights to protect national security.
“Decisions to cut ties with Qatar are a sovereign right of the States concerned and aim to protect their national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism,” said a joint declaration by the UN envoys of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain.
The statement came in response to remarks Wednesday by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein expressing “alarm” about the human rights impact of cutting off ties.
The three Gulf states said they were ready to work with relevant authorities “to maintain security, to combat terrorism and to safeguard the stability and well-being of the people of the region”.
Separately, at a joint news conference alongside British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said his country was working on a list of complaints against Qatar, according to a Saudi news channel.
On June 5, five Arab countries - Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, Bahrain and Yemen - abruptly cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism.
Qatar denied the accusations, calling the moves to diplomatically isolate it "unjustified”.