Al-Jazeera manager denounces Gulf demands for its shutdown
- Author: Larry Hoffman Jun 24, 2017,
Jun 24, 2017, 6:01
On Monday, Qatar Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said the country would not negotiate until diplomatic relations were restored and the boycott was halted, according to Reuters.
A Qatari government spokesman said Doha was reviewing the list of demands and that a formal response would be made by the foreign ministry and delivered to Kuwait, but added that the demands were not reasonable or actionable.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has tried to mediate and earlier this week called on the Arab nations to limit themselves to "reasonable and actionable" demands.
With just days to decide, Qatar on Friday weighed an onerous list of demands by its neighbors as a way out of a regional crisis, and a top Emirati official warned the tiny country to brace for a long-term economic squeeze unless it is willing to acquiesce.
His target was not Qatar, although he has been clear that all countries should do more to eradicate terror funding - but Riyadh and its Emirati ally. He said that he had not yet seen a demand for the base to be shut.
"We believe it's a family issue", he said.
Saudi Arabia closed its land border with Qatar, through which the tiny Gulf nation and global travel hub imports most of its food, sparking a run on supermarkets.
The list also includes a demand that Qatar pay reparations and compensation for loss of life and other financial losses allegedly caused by Qatar's policies in recent years. For example, one of the requirements is to sever all ties to terrorist organizations, including the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, and Hezbollah.
The list of demands includes the closure of Al-Jazeera television, a long-standing source of conflict between Doha and neighbouring countries which accuse it of fomenting regional strife.
The acting managing director of Al-Jazeera's English language service has denounced demands by Gulf Arab states involved in a major dispute with Qatar that the network be shut down as an attempt to suppress free expression.
Earlier this month, the Arabian nations cut ties with Qatar over its alleged support of terrorist groups.
"The leakage will further exasperate and prolong the Qatar crisis".
Abdullah al-Muhanadi, a retired public sector shopping for groceries in Doha yesterday morning, said the boycott must be lifted before negotiations to resolve the dispute could start.
Qatar has vehemently denied all the accusations against it as unjustified, defending itself as a country fighting extremism and terrorism. Though Qatar claims to be fighting ISIS, U.S. counterterror officials continue to claim that they're a chief funding resource for the caliphatist[RH1] group. "It would be wiser that (Qatar) deal seriously with the demands and concerns of the neighbours, or a divorce will take place".
The United States should wholeheartedly support Arab states' attempts to rein in the renegade state of Qatar, as Gulf leaders attempt to cut down on Doha's out of control terror promoting and jihadi financing policies.
The list also says Qatar must immediately close Turkey's military base in Qatar and end military cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member.
United States officials said the goal of the Russians appeared to be creation of a rift among the U.S. and its allies.