Published: Wed, July 05, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

Qatar crisis: Saudi bloc extends deadline by 48 hours

Qatar crisis: Saudi bloc extends deadline by 48 hours

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt broke off diplomatic relations and communication with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism and interfering in their internal affairs.

Kuwait reportedly requested that the four countries grant the Gulf state a two-day extension but did not mention anything related to where Qatar stands regarding the demands.

Middle East Eye has denied that it was supported financially by Qatar or backed by any other state entity. They gave the government in Doha 10 days to implement their demands, a period that ended at midnight on Sunday but was extended by 48 hours.

Kuwait is now expected to relay that response, which has not yet been disclosed, to the four Arab states before midnight Tuesday.

Once Qatar agrees to the demands, "then we will take the appropriate attitude towards them", the Saudi minister added.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir called the list "non-negotiable" last week.

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The hours left for Qatar to formally respond to a list of demands are slowly dwindling. "Qatar is prepared to face whatever consequences", Al-Thani said.

Qatar has called the charges baseless and said the stiff demands - including closing Qatar-based al Jazeera TV and ejecting Turkish troops based there - were made to be rejected. "We did not stick to the state version of events which we believe countries in the region felt threatened by".

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump spoke separately to Saudi Arabia's King Salman and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan on Sunday to discuss his "concerns about the ongoing dispute" between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours.

Qatar's foreign minister, carrying a handwritten letter from the country's emir, arrived in Kuwait to deliver Doha's formal response to Arab demands, according to Kuwait News Agency.

"Any steps taken by these countries in case Qatar fails to respond will be taken within the framework of worldwide law, including the procedures that sovereign states have the right to take against another country", Sheikh Abdullah said.

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