RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, March 5 (UPI) -- Three members of the Gulf Cooperation Council announced Wednesday they are withdrawing their ambassadors from Qatar, citing Qatar's violation of a joint non-interference agreement reached in November 2013.
Under the agreement, the GCC members would not interfere in one another's internal affairs.
Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates decided to withdraw their ambassadors after attempts on Tuesday to persuade Qatar to implement the non-interference agreement, signed on November 23, were unsuccessful.
The Saudi Foreign Ministry posted a statement to its Facebook page that read:
"Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain hoped that the agreement will be implemented, however, after more than three months after the signing of the agreement, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain feel that the State of Qatar did not take the necessary actions to put it into practice.
"Therefore Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain regret to announce that they will take what they deem to be the appropriate steps to protect the security and stability of their nations by withdrawing their ambassadors from Qatar."
The Qatari government published a statement on the state-run Qatar News Agency site that expressed its "regret and surprise" by the GCC members' decision and noted that Qatar would not take reciprocal action.
The GCC was established in 1981. Kuwait and Oman are also members.