Qatar Receives List Of Demands It Must Meet To End Sanctions

Faith Castro
June 25, 2017

The sanctions have disrupted Qatar's main import routes by land from Saudi Arabia and by sea from big container ships docked in the United Arab Emirates.

The demands have not been officially unveiled but Doha-based Al-Jazeera news channel said overnight Thursday they were handed to Qatar by Kuwait, which is mediating the dispute.

The Iran provisions in the document say Qatar must shut down diplomatic posts in Iran, kick out from Qatar any members of the Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard, and only conduct trade and commerce with Iran that complies with US sanctions.

Meshal Hamad al-Thani, Qatar's ambassador to the United States, tweeted that the list was meant to "punish Qatar for its independence".

The four Arab countries accuse Qatar of funding terrorism, fomenting regional instability and cosying up to revolutionary theocracy Iran.

Speaking after a prayer at the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the sweeping ultimatum the Gulf states have put to Qatar is an attack on the country's "sovereign rights".

The US, the most important worldwide partner for Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar, is seen as having a key role to play in bringing about a resolution.

Qatar's foreign affairs ministry said on Friday it was studying the list "in order to prepare an appropriate response".

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He recalled that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had said on Wednesday that Washington wanted a clear list of grievances that was "reasonable and actionable".

The ultimatum demands that Qatar, among other things, cut its ties with Iran, close a Turkish military base on its soil and shut down Al Jazeera and its affiliates.

Hurriyet newspaper said last week a joint exercise by Turkish and Qatari forces was expected following the Islamic Eid al-Fitr holiday which started on Sunday, and the number of Turkish soldiers sent to the Gulf state could eventually reach 1,000.

Doha received a 13-point list from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain that included demands to shut down the media network Al-Jazeera and cut ties with Islamist groups including the Muslim Brotherhood. "I think it's an opening gambit in a long, protracted negotiation", he said. Iran and Turkey are now providing Qatar's required food supplies.

It also insisted that Qatar expel citizens of the four countries from its territory, hand over any individuals suspected of terrorism, and provide detailed information about opposition figures that it has funded in other states.

In his words, the demands of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, and Egypt amounted to a request that Qatar give up its sovereignty.

In the latest development in the lingering political crisis between the Gulf states, Turkey's leader has sided with gas-rich Qatar, saying the sweeping ultimatum the Arab monarchies have given Doha runs "contrary to worldwide law".

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