Qatar responds to Gulf neighbours’ demands

Qatar has responded to a list of demands from Saudi Arabia and its allies after they agreed to give it another 48 hours to address their grievances.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut off ties with Qatar on 5 June, accusing it of supporting terrorism. On 22 June they issued a 13-point list of demands to end the standoff and gave Qatar 10 days to comply.
Details of the response were not immediately available, but a Gulf official told the news agency AFP that the Qatari foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, had delivered it during a short visit to Kuwait, which is acting as a mediator in the crisis.

Qatar has previously said the stiff demands – including closing the broadcast channel al-Jazeera and ejecting Turkish troops based in Qatar – are so draconian that they appeared designed to be rejected.

According to a joint statement on the Saudi state news agency SPA, the four countries agreed to a request by Kuwait to extend by 48 hours Sunday’s deadline for compliance. Foreign ministers from the four countries would meet in Cairo on Wednesday to discuss Qatar, Egypt said.

The blockading countries have not detailed any penalties to be imposed if their ultimatum is spurned, though UAE diplomats have suggested either suspending Qatar from the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), the regional trading bloc, or seeking to impose sanctions on countries that continue to trade with Qatar.

The western-backed, six-member GCC was formed in 1981 – in the wake of Iran’s Islamic revolution and the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war – by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain.


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