Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain said on Wednesday they would withdraw their ambassadors from Qatar for breaching a security agreement among members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

“Regrettably, all efforts have not resulted in securing Qatar’s agreement to implement the (security) pact,” the three countries said in a joint statement published by the Saudi Press Agency SPA.

Qatar has good relations with Iran, which Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain view as a regional rival. Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have in the past also accused Iran of supporting their large Shia minorities, which are seeking more rights from the Sunni monarchies.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar are members of the six-nation GCC. Kuwait and Oman are the two other members.

They said the measure was designed to protect their security and stability.

There was no immediate comment in Qatar.

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