Demands to Qatar: Close Al Jazeera, reduce Iran ties

"Their claims are nothing relating to fighting terrorism", Qatar's ambassador to the United States, Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani, told Foreign Policy hours before the list was reported.

Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries that have cut ties to Qatar issued a steep list of demands Thursday to end the crisis, insisting that their Persian Gulf neighbour shutter Al Jazeera, cut back diplomatic ties to Iran, and sever all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Later in June, several African countries cut relations with Qatar and others downgraded ties.

Turkey's military base in Qatar is exclusively an internal issue of Ankara and Doha, the Turkish media outlets quoted the country's Defense Minister Fikri Isik as saying June 23.

Qatar's government did not have any immediate reaction to the list.

The embargo has been co-ordinated by the Saudis along with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt. Qatar has been given 10 days to comply with the demands.

The AP says it received a copy of the list of 13 demands from one of the governments involved in the diplomatic standoff.

While the list makes no specific calls for regime change, the wide ranging demands would be seen as exacting unfair punitive measures that undermine Qatar's sovereignty.

"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".

Qatar must also announce it is severing ties with terrorist, ideological and sectarian organizations, including the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and Jabhat Fateh al Sham, formerly al Qaeda's branch in Syria and surrender all designated terrorists on its territory. The document doesn't specify what the countries will do if Qatar refuses to comply. The 13-point list calls for Al-Jazeera and all its affiliates to be shut down.

"Al Jazeera has been a thorn in the Saudi, Bahraini and UAE side for quite some".

Qatar has denied the accusations. Turkey, which has long tried to play the role of regional mediator, has backed Qatar in the dispute but is also wary of upsetting its other allies, including Saudi Arabia.

Cutting ties to Iran would prove incredibly hard. "Were the actions really about their concerns regarding Qatar's alleged support for terrorism or were they about the long simmering grievances between and among the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] countries?" 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.

The diplomatic and economic isolation of Qatar has sparked what has been deemed as one of the worst crisis in the Gulf in recent years.

The demand to close the Doha-based Al Jazeera TV channel made by Gulf Arab states is a crime violating freedom of speech, the channel's director Yaser Abuhilala told Sputnik on Friday.

It says the demands will be monitored and involve monthly reports in the first year, then every three months the next year, then annually for 10 years, the official reportedly said.

  • Zachary Reyes