Bahrain Contests GCC Publication on Disputed Qatari Region
Bahrain has contested a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) publication that affirms Qatar's sovereignty over a region at the center of a territorial conflict between the two countries, an official said Friday.
Bahraini authorities are opposed to the distribution of the publication at the 21st GCC summit to be held in Manama on December 30-31, the official told AFP on the condition of anonymity.
The document, entitled "Ancient times to the present -- the rich culture of the Gulf", described Zubara, which lies on Qatar's west coast, as being a "Qatari town".
It backs up the assertion by citing the works of Greek historian Herodotus and geographer Ptolemy from the fifth century B.C.
Aside from the Zubara, Bahrain and Qatar have a longstanding feud over the Hawar Islands, which are under Bahraini control, as well as the Bahraini-controlled Fasht al-Dibel, which is potentially rich in oil and gas.
The dispute over the Hawar Islands has been brought before the International Court of Justice which, according to the official, will make a ruling at the end of January or beginning of March.
Bahrain's Sheikh Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa al-Thani refused to attend a November summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) because it was held in Doha.
And when confirming his participation in the summit on Tuesday, Qatar's Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani said Qatar was "convinced that it has absolute sovereignty over the contested regions and islands".
Besides Bahrain and Qatar, the GCC includes Kuwait, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and regional giant Saudi Arabia -- DUBAI (AFP)
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