Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain said on Wednesday they were withdrawing their ambassadors from Qatar in protest at Qatar's interference in their internal affairs, they announced in a joint statement.
The three Gulf Arab states made the decision following late Tuesday meeting of foreign ministers from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council in Riyadh.
GCC countries "have exerted massive efforts to contact Qatar on all levels to agree on a unified policy... to ensure non-interference, directly or indirectly, in the internal affairs of any member state," the statement said, sleeping off the military intervention of the Saudi-led Peninsula Shield Forces in Bahrain in to crackdown the peaceful demonstrations.
The nations have also asked Qatar "not to support any party aiming to threaten security and stability of any GCC member," referring to the presence of Muslim Brotherhood movement in Qatar, which is banned in most Gulf states.
The statement stressed that despite the commitment of Qatar's emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to these principles during a mini-summit held in Riyadh in November with Kuwait's emir and the Saudi monarch, his country has failed to comply.
The move is thought to be unprecedented in the three-decade history of the Gulf Cooperation Council, a pro-Western alliance of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and Oman.