List of demands on Qatar by Saudi Arabia, other Arab nations
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 23, 2017,
Jun 23, 2017, 15:41
Saudi Arabia and three allies that have cut ties to Qatar want the small Gulf state to cut ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and all USA -designated foreign terrorist organizations and shut down the Al-Jazeera TV network, according to a list of demands seen by the Associated Press.
They have sent Doha a list of 13 demands including closing Al Jazeera television, reducing ties to their regional adversary Iran and closing a Turkish military base in Qatar, an official of one of the four countries told Reuters. The list demanded that Qatar end all military cooperation with Turkey as well as an unspecified sum of money.
Expatriates working in Qatar said on Thursday their employers had cancelled holidays and barred them from leaving the country in the wake of a rift with other Arab powers.
Iran, which is an arch-rival of Saudi Arabia, began exporting food to Qatar just days after the Gulf crisis left Qatar isolated, without any links to land transport which the country typically relies on to import food. The more that time goes by, the more doubt is raised about the actions taken by Saudi Arabia and the UAE. This is a frequent charge against Qatar; the United States has accused Qatar of financing Syrian extremists and Hamas (the political and military authority of the Gaza Strip), and of not doing enough to prevent ISIS and al-Qaeda from fundraising within its territory.
Tillerson's comments came in a short statement a day after the State Department bluntly questioned the motives of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in announcing their boycott of Qatar on June 5, saying it was "mystified" the Gulf states had not released their grievances.
It's not clear how much it differs from a list of ten Saudi demands, reported on by Al-Jazeera two weeks ago but never confirmed.
USA military and diplomatic intervention in the Middle East - and especially the Persian Gulf region - was once viewed nearly exclusively through the lens of America's dependence on foreign oil and the impact of energy inflation on the US economy. Days after Trump plainly said Qatar sponsors terrorism, the U.S. sold them $12 billion in weapons.
Qatar's neighbors have also accused it of backing al-Qaida and the Islamic State group's ideology throughout the Middle East.
Turkey's Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said the first Turkish ship carrying aid to Qatar has departed, in a bid to break the blockade imposed on Doha by a number of Gulf countries.
With regards to Doha-based satellite broadcaster Al Jazeera, the list says Qatar must also close all of its affiliates.
Qatar foreign minister has said the country will not negotiate sovereign and internal matters including Al Jazeera's editorial line under pressure from its neighbouring states.
Donald Trump has called Qatar a "high level sponsor of terrorism", but also offered to mediate to help these parties resolve their differences.