Saudi, UAE, Bahrain withdraw envoys from Qatar

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FILE – This Wednesday, May 2, 2012 file photo, shows a general view of the Interior ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) during their meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain said Wednesday, March 5, 2014 that they have recalled their ambassadors from the Gulf nation of Qatar over its alleged breach of a regional security deal in the clearest sign yet of the rift among Gulf Arab countries over Islamists in the region. Tensions have been brewing between Gulf countries and Qatar since Egyptians ousted President Hosni Mubarak and Qatar’s massive financial and public support for his successor, Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, stood at odds with the UAE and Saudi Arabia’s policies. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

FILE – This Wednesday, May 2, 2012 file photo, shows a general view of the Interior ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) during their meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain said Wednesday, March 5, 2014 that they have recalled their ambassadors from the Gulf nation of Qatar over its alleged breach of a regional security deal in the clearest sign yet of the rift among Gulf Arab countries over Islamists in the region. Tensions have been brewing between Gulf countries and Qatar since Egyptians ousted President Hosni Mubarak and Qatar’s massive financial and public support for his successor, Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, stood at odds with the UAE and Saudi Arabia’s policies. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

File – In this Tuesday, May 11, 2010 file photo, Saudi King Abdullah bin Abd al-Aziz, salutes as he arrives to the opening of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) consultative summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain said Wednesday, March 5, 2014 that they have recalled their ambassadors from the Gulf nation of Qatar over its alleged breach of a regional security deal in the clearest sign yet of the rift among Gulf Arab countries over Islamists in the region. Tensions have been brewing between Gulf countries and Qatar since Egyptians ousted President Hosni Mubarak and Qatar’s massive financial and public support for his successor, Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, stood at odds with the UAE and Saudi Arabia’s policies. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

FILE – In this Tuesday, May 11, 2010 file photo, Arab gulf leaders from left to right, Kuwaiti Emir Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, Qatari Emir Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Omani Deputy Prime Minister Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Saeed, Saudi King Abdullah bin Abd al-Aziz, Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai pose for a group photo before the opening of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) consultative summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain said Wednesday, March 5, 2014 that they have recalled their ambassadors from the Gulf nation of Qatar over its alleged breach of a regional security deal in the clearest sign yet of the rift among Gulf Arab countries over Islamists in the region. Tensions have been brewing between Gulf countries and Qatar since Egyptians ousted President Hosni Mubarak and Qatar’s massive financial and public support for his successor, Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, stood at odds with the UAE and Saudi Arabia’s policies. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

FILE – In this Sunday, May 13, 2012 file photo, Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr al-Thani arrives to attend the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain said Wednesday, March 5, 2014 that they have recalled their ambassadors from the Gulf nation of Qatar over its alleged breach of a regional security deal in the clearest sign yet of the rift among Gulf Arab countries over Islamists in the region. Tensions have been brewing between Gulf countries and Qatar since Egyptians ousted President Hosni Mubarak and Qatar’s massive financial and public support for his successor, Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, stood at odds with the UAE and Saudi Arabia’s policies. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain recalled their ambassadors from Qatar on Wednesday in an unusually public dispute among the clubby Western-allied Gulf Arab states, a move analysts say centers on their neighbor’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood and its perceived aggressive meddling in regional conflicts.

The three Gulf Arab states said Qatar failed to uphold its end of a security agreement to stop interfering in other nations’ politics and supporting organizations that threaten the Gulf’s stability. They said the move was made to protect their security. The decision comes ahead of Egypt’s critical April presidential election.

In a last ditch effort, foreign ministers from the Gulf Cooperation Council met Tuesday in Riyadh to try and “persuade” Qatar to keep up its end of a largely opaque deal struck in November, a statement from the three countries read.

“However, all these efforts have not resulted … in the consent of the state of Qatar to adhere to these procedures,” the statement said. “So the three countries have to start doing whatever they deem appropriate to protect their security and stability by withdrawing their ambassadors.”

It was an unprecedented move for the countries of the six-nation council, which sit atop some of the world’s largest oil and gas reserves.

Qatar expressed “regret and surprise” at the move and said it remains committed to the values of the GCC, according to excerpts of a Cabinet statement carried by the official Qatar News Agency.

The Cabinet said Qatar will not respond by recalling its own ambassadors. Qatar’s stock market fell more than 2 percent following the announcement, losing around $383 million.

The joint

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