Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates say they have recalled their ambassadors from Qatar because of a failure to implement a security agreement among the Gulf Cooperation Council.
In a joint statement Wednesday, the three nations said Qatar signed the agreement more than three months ago, but has taken "no necessary actions."
It said the foreign ministers of the six-member Council met Tuesday to stress to Qatar the importance of the deal. With no progress, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE decided to pull their ambassadors in order to protect the "security and stability" of their countries.
Saudi-based analyst and editor-at-large of the Saudi Gazette newspaper Khalid Al Maeena told VOA's Deewa Radio it is a great setback for all the GCC countries.
"Only a few months back, there were efforts to unify the Gulf States. It has disappointed many in the Gulf States that the efforts to unite Gulf States have not succeeded."
Some regional experts believe that the step by the three countries to recall their ambassadors was taken for Qatar's alleged support for the Muslim Brotherhood.
The GCC statement says the three countries consider Qatar an integral part of the GCC, and hope it takes "immediate steps" to respond to the earlier agreement.