Published: Fri, July 07, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

Qatar continues with negative response to the demands

Qatar continues with negative response to the demands

The foreign ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain have all voiced their regret over Qatar's reply to the 13-point list of demands, saying Doha is not serious about meeting them.

"We are today at a new situation after the Qatari rejection, and it is a rejection that will not pass without a price, and Qatar alone bears responsibility for this reaction".

Those demands include shutting down the Al Jazeera TV channel, curtailing Qatar's support for the Muslim Brotherhood, closing a Turkish military base in Qatar and downgrading ties with Iran.

He said the demand shows "a lack of respect toward us and Qatar".

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said earlier that Qatar had responded to the list of demands "in keeping with the principle of national sovereignty and worldwide law".

The Saudi and UAE markets are larger than Qatar's, and some foreign companies may already be taking informal steps to make sure they do not anger the two bigger countries.

Officials from the four countries met in Cairo after Qatar responded to the 13 demands the bloc insisted must be met to end their isolation of the tiny energy-rich kingdom.

The four states went on to call for an emergency meeting - to convene in Bahraini capital Manama - to discuss the ongoing inter-Arab political crisis.

A joint statement issued by foreign ministers of the Saudi-led bloc revealed that Qatar had rejected the demands previously sent to Doha by Arab countries.

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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.

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Qatar faces further isolation and possible expulsion from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) if its response to a list of demands made almost two weeks ago is not deemed satisfactory.

Saudi Arabia and its allies announced on 5 June they were severing ties with their Gulf neighbour, sparking the worst diplomatic crisis to hit the region in decades.

He also warned that a raft of "fresh measures" would be taken against Qatar at the "appropriate time".

The nations could impose financial sanctions or force Qatar out of the Gulf Cooperation Council, a regional body known as the GCC that serves as a counterbalance to Iran.

The statement was issued after the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain held a meeting in Cairo. They also said the blockade of ports and air space will remain in place, reports NPR's Jane Arraf.

"We're not doing this because we want to hurt Qatar, we're doing this to help Qatar", Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir said.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump spoke to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, asking him to urge all parties "to negotiate constructively", reported AFP.

According to the White House, the US President "reiterated the need for all countries to follow through on their commitments at the Riyadh summit to stop terrorist financing and discredit extremist ideology".

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