Arab states give Qatar deadline and list of demands: Shutter Al Jazeera …
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 23, 2017,
Jun 23, 2017, 22:19
The AP obtained a copy of the list in Arabic from one of the countries in the dispute.
WASHINGTON ― Qatar's ambassador to the US told HuffPost on Friday that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries' demands on his nation are about suppressing press freedom and Qatari sovereignty, rather than the country's alleged support for terror.
"The base in Qatar is both a Turkish base and one that will preserve the security of Qatar and the region", Isik said in an interview on Friday.
Days after the sanctions were imposed, Turkey rushed through legislation to send more troops to its base in Qatar as a sign of support. The military said a contingent of 23 soldiers reached Doha on Thursday.
Gargash alleged Qatar had leaked them in "an attempt to abort the mediation in a childish act that we have grown accustomed to from our brother". That diplomatic rift lasted six years.
Saudi, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain cut ties to Qatar this month over accusations the Persian Gulf country funds terrorism. But the country acknowledges that it allows members of some extremist groups such as Hamas to reside in Qatar, arguing that fostering dialogue with those groups is key to resolving global conflicts. In addition, Qatar must pay an unspecified sum in reparations.
State-run Qatar Petroleum says that some critically important employees "may have been asked to postpone" trips overseas "for operational reasons" as a result of the embargo by Gulf Arab states against Qatar.
Under Qatari law, foreigners working in the country must secure their employer's consent to receive an exit permit allowing them to leave. Under the 2015 nuclear deal, nuclear-related sanctions on Iran were eased but other sanctions remain in place. It appears that Qatari officials have not yet responded to requests for comment from the AP, The New York Times and other outlets. It includes conditions that the gas-rich nation already has insisted it would never meet, including closing down Al-Jazeera. The network also had no immediate comment.
Qatar says the sanctions have also brought personal hardship for its citizens who live in neighboring countries or have relatives there.
Qatar must also announce it is severing ties with terrorist, ideological and sectarian organisations including the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Jabhat Fateh al Sham, formerly al Qaeda's branch in Syria, the Arab official said, and surrender all designated terrorists on its territory.
On the demands list was that Qatar sever diplomatic ties with Iran, kick members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard out of Qatar and cease any joint military cooperation with Iran, Xinhua news agency reported. The list includes an end to Turkey's military presence in Qatar.
The Arab nations cut ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting terrorism and destabilizing the region. Qatar shares a massive offshore natural gas field with Iran which supplies the small nation that will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup its wealth.
Doha must close its satellite TV station Al-Jazeera and all its affiliates, according to the list.
The Saudi-led alliance regards Al Jazeera as a propaganda tool for Islamists that also undermines support for their governments.
The network's critics say the Arabic-language services in particular advance Qatar's goals by promoting Islamist movements like the Muslim Brotherhood that pose a populist threat to rulers in other Arab countries.
The United Arab Emirates warned Qatar Friday that it faces "divorce" from its Gulf neighbours unless it takes seriously a list of demands including the closure of Al-Jazeera television.
"The brother (Qatar) must realise that the solution for its crisis lies not in Tehran or Beirut or Ankara or Western capitals or in media outlets, but in regaining the trust of its neighbours", Gargash said.
"They are impossible to be met because they interfere in Qatar's foreign policy and Qatar considers its foreign policy a sovereign matter that is nonnegotiable, he said".