TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - "We do not trust them (Qatar). There is zero trust, but we need a monitoring system and we need our Western friends to play a role in this," UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash said on Saturday.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates cut their diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar earlier this month, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism, an allegation rejected by the Qatari government.
The monitoring, Gargash said, would aim to ensure Qatar was no longer funding extremism, harboring extremists in Doha, or providing support to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and al-Qaeda.
“This is about behavioral change. If we get clear strategic signals that Qatar is going to change and it will stop funding militants that is the basis for a discussion," he said in London.
The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are widely known to be aiding an assortment of Takfiri militants fighting to topple the Syrian government.
According to observers, the recent fallout in relations came in the wake of Qatar's apparent break with past policies and its leaning toward Russia and Iran -- similar to Turkey's turnabout on the Syria crisis.
Saudi Arabia launched a campaign to isolate Qatar earlier this month, cutting diplomatic ties and imposing a blockade, which was followed by other allies. Doha says it is being targeted due to its independent foreign policy.
On Friday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Riyadh, Manama, Cairo and Abu Dhabi were drawing up “a list of grievances that need to be addressed and that the Qataris need to fix.”
Gargash said there were "no specific asks right now” as he accused Doha of backing Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, and other al-Qaeda branches in Syria and Libya.
“In 2014, we tried to do things diplomatically and we failed. The emir of Qatar did not stick to his word so this time we are saying we will ostracize you,” Gargash said, without explaining why their decision had taken so long and come now.
The current dispute in the region is an extension of a 2014 row, when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain temporarily recalled their ambassadors from Doha over what they said to be Qatar’s support for Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.
“It is like playing a football match when you discover one of your own team is trying to score an own goal in every match you play,” Gargash said.
Qatar refutes claims of meddling
Separately on Saturday, Qatar rejected Bahrain’s latest accusations of interfering in the country’s domestic affairs.
The rebuttal came after Bahrain’s official TV broadcast a 2011 phone conversation between an adviser to the Qatari emir and a leader of the now-dissolved main Shia opposition group Al-Wefaq in Bahrain, citing it as an example of Doha's interference.
The Qatari Foreign Ministry has said the phone call was made as part of Doha’s mediation efforts in the wake of anti-regime protests in Bahrain, emphasizing that the mediation was halted after a militarily intervention by Saudi Arabia and the UAE to suppress protests.
Bahrain’s official TV “deliberately presented it (the phone call) as a support by Qatar to the Al-Wefaq … and a direct interference in Bahrain’s internal affairs in a naive and blatant attempt to misrepresent and twist facts and take them out of their proper context," the ministry said.
The Bahraini TV move "provides compelling evidence of targeting the State of Qatar and attempting to impute charges to it" amid current regional tensions, it added.