UAE says US, European guarantees needed to solve Gulf crisis

25 June 2017, 01:13 | Andres Norman

Having urged Qatar's neighbors to come up with "reasonable and actionable" demands, the USA sought to distance itself from the crisis the day after the Arab countries issued a list that included several provisions Qatar had already declared it could not or would not accept.

Doha said the list of demands "confirms what Qatar has said from the beginning - the illegal blockade has nothing to do with combating terrorism, it is about limiting Qatar's sovereignty, and outsourcing [Qatar's] foreign policy".

"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 Qatar News Agency said, citing a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"This list does not satisfy that criteria", he added.

Qatar is under strict sanctions from Saudi Arabia and its allies, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain over its support to terror organisations, BBC reported.

Given 10 days to make a decision, Qatar said it was reviewing the specific concessions demanded of the tiny Persian Gulf nation, which include shuttering Al-Jazeera and cutting ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Qatar dismissed the 10-day ultimatum, which included shutting down the Al Jazeera network, closing a Turkish military base and scaling down ties with Iran.

He underscored that if there has been any violation of law by Al Jazeera the broadcaster could be brought to court in Qatar or any other country, but the demand to shut it is a "crime". Anwar Gargash, the UAE's state minister for foreign affairs, said Qatar should yield to the demands.

"Maybe the fate of Al Jazeera will depend on talks between the government of Qatar and its neighbours".

UAE minister also says if demands are not met the "alternative is not escalation", but the "parting of ways".

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Although the demands have not officially been made public, they have been widely leaked.

The sanctioning countries demanded Qatar pay them reparations for any damage or costs incurred due to Qatari policies. "It's about media freedom, the right of the people in the region to receive information and people around the world to get information about the Middle East", he added.

"US President Donald Trump has taken a hard line towards Qatar, accusing it of being a "high level" sponsor of terrorism".

- Curb diplomatic ties with Iran, and limit trade and commerce.

- Stop all contacts with the political opposition in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain.

David Hearst, Middle East Eye's editor-in-chief, said his organisation is not funded by Qatar - or any other state or group - and is here to stay. "The demands are so aggressive that it makes it close to impossible to now see a resolution of that conflict", said Olivier Jakob, a strategist at Switzerland-based oil consultancy Petromatrix.

The demands call on Qatar to end its alleged support for organisations including Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Islamic State.

"I doubt that Qatar will comply with those demands", Truevtsev said.

Tillerson has sought to mediate but the White House has been more hands-off, describing the diplomatic crisis as a "family issue" on Friday.

This list "does not meet those standards", he said.



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