Rival Gulf states give Qatar 10 days to close Al Jazeera

The Gulf crisis escalated late Thursday, as Kuwait, acting as a mediator, presented Qatar with a 13-point list of demands from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt.

The list also demanded Qatar to sever all ties to "terrorist organizations" including the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic State group, al-Qaeda, and Lebanon's Hezbollah.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar over allegations that it funds terrorism - an accusation Doha rejects but that President Donald Trump has echoed.

With regard to Iran, Qatar is being told to deport any and all members of the country's Revolutionary Guard and limit commercial interactions to those that comply with US mandates.

Turkey has no intention of shutting down its brand new military base in Qatar, it said in a rejection of a demand about the small Gulf kingdom voiced by other Arab nations.

If Qatar agreed to the conditions its compliance would be closely monitored for 10 years. There are already 88 Turkish soldiers stationed in Qatar, and that number is expected to eventually reach 1,000, according to Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.

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.

According to News Grid, Al Jazeera was cited as saying that they "condemn the demands" that their media outlet should be shut down, saying that it is "nothing short than a siege against the journalistic profession". In 2002, its coverage of a Saudi peace plan with Israel led Saudi Arabia to yank its ambassador from Qatar. "Decisions concerning the Qatari internal affairs are Qatari sovereignty - and no one has to interfere with them".

The minister added that the base in Qatar benefits the security of the entire region.

On Monday, Qatar's Foreign Affairs Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said the country would only begin negotiations to end the crisis after measures taken against the country were lifted.

Qatar will be required to fully align with other Gulf and Arab countries militarily, politically, socially and economically, in line with an agreement put forward by Saudi Arabia in 2014. The move has left Qatar, whose only land border is shared with Saudi Arabia, under a de facto blockade by its neighbors.

Moreover, the Turkish parliament ratified the Protocol on Cooperation in the Field of Education and Training for Gendarmerie between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the State of Qatar.

Qatar said the website was hacked and U.S. officials later told CNN that U.S. investigators believe Russian hackers were behind it.

Qatar is also required to hand over opposition figures wanted by its three neighbours and Egypt. Days after Trump plainly said Qatar sponsors terrorism, the USA sold them $12 billion in weapons.

  • Leroy Wright