Viernes, 21 Setiembre, 2018

Qatar rejects list of demands from Saudi Arabia

Malita Javier | 25 Junio, 2017, 17:48

A senior United Arab Emirates (UAE) official said on Saturday that if Qatar did not accept an ultimatum issued by Arab states which imposed a boycott on the small Gulf Arab nation this month, "the alternative is not escalation but parting ways".

Speaking after Eid al-Fitr prayers in Istanbul, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the demand "disrespectful" and said Turkey would not seek permission from others when making its defense cooperation agreements.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic ties and transportation with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism, a charge which Doha has denied.

In a 13-point list presented to the Qataris by Kuwait, which is helping mediate the crisis the countries also demand that Qatar sever all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and with other groups including Hezbollah, al-Qaida and the Islamic State group.

But while Iran is trying to craft an image of being the good guy, Qatar is facing an ultimatum with some steep demands.

The US challenge will be to gauge how ready Saudi Arabia and its allies are for real negotiations with Qatar, or whether they simply want to inflict maximum economic damage on the tiny country, and get to discussions later.

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The list was received by Qatar's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on June 22, according to a report by the state-run Qatar News Agency.

"It would be wiser that (Qatar) deal seriously with the demands and concerns of the neighbours or a divorce will take place".

Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have given Qatar a 10-day deadline to meet the demands. But Qatar has pushed back, claiming the sanctions are aimed at "limiting Qatar's sovereignty, and outsourcing our foreign policy", rather than fighting terrorism.

They also required Doha to close Iran's embassy and a Turkish base on its territory as well as shut Qatar-owned Al Jazeera television.

Defence Minister Fikri Isik told Turkish broadcaster NTV that he had not yet seen a request for the closure of the base, but made clear Ankara had no plans to review a 2014 agreement with Qatar which led to it being set up.

The network's critics said that the Arabic-language services in particular advance Qatar's goals by promoting Islamist movements like the Muslim Brotherhood that pose a populist threat to rulers in other Arab countries.

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"The state of Qatar is now studying this paper, the demands contained therein and the foundations on which they were based, in order to prepare an appropriate response to it and hand it over to the state of Kuwait", the state-run Qatar News Agency said, citing a statement by the country's Foreign Ministry.

"The alternative is not escalation, the alternative is parting of ways, because it is very hard for us to maintain a collective grouping", Gargash said as cited by Reuters.

"The attack on Al Jazeera is part of an assault on free speech to subvert the impact of old and new media in the Arab world".

"We have noticed the European and American interest in this, especially as these countries are also affected by extremism and terrorism", the UAE minister said.

"We believe it's a family issue and that they should work out".

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