After demands aired, solution to Qatar crisis seems far off
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 25, 2017,
Jun 25, 2017, 13:12
The president said the 13-point demand list by Arab states, already rejected by Qatar, contradicted global law.
Sheikh Saif Al Thani, director of Qatar's government communications office, expressed doubt about reaching an agreement, saying the demands don't meet the criteria set out by the USA and United Kingdom governments for "reasonable and realistic" measures.
Qatar has dismissed the 13 conditions set by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, and Egypt in order to restore relations.
The United Arab Emirates has said the list was meant to be confidential, and it has accused Qatar of leaking it to the press in a sign of bad faith.
Anwar Gargash, Emirati state minister for foreign affairs, said the dispute could be resolved "through diplomacy if Qatar renounces its support for extremism and terrorism". "There are no IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) elements in Qatar and the agreement with Turkey is a long-standing diplomatic agreement so we can not ask them to leave".
He was speaking after an official from one of the four Arab states boycotting Qatar over alleged support for terrorism said they had sent Doha a list of 13 demands including closing down the military installation. Unlike other Gulf nations, Qatar has relatively warm ties with Iran and so it may be hard to make such a drastic diplomatic change.
Qatar says it is reviewing the ultimatum, which includes demands to shut Al-Jazeera and cut ties with Islamist groups including the Muslim Brotherhood. Al-Jazeera has denied this shows it supports extremism and said it is "not partisan to any ideology, group or government".
A top Emirati diplomat said on Saturday that U.S. and European guarantees would be needed to monitor any future agreement aimed at ending a row between Qatar and its neighbours.
Qatar has also turned down the bloc's demands as an interference in its sovereignty and foreign policy.
Qatar has denounced the list as unreasonable and an impingement on the emirate's sovereignty. Three al-Jazeera journalists were jailed in Egypt in 2015 for reporting on events in Cairo.
"This is a very aggressive position that the Saudi coalition is taking".
The demands confirm that "the crisis is profound", Gargash said, adding Qatar had leaked the document containing the demands. Moreover, this very move in and of itself could further undermine the country's credibility in the eyes of every believer who's aware of its regional crimes, essentially advancing the argument being spread in some circles that the Saudis are "sellouts" in each and every way, and that their custodianship of the Two Holy Mosques does not automatically make them moral role models whose policies must be followed no matter what. "So I expect tensions to rise", Handjani added.
The countries have previously suggested the demands were their bottom line, though Gargash on Saturday appeared to allow for the possibility for some negotiation facilitated by Kuwait, a GCC member mediating the crisis.
The White House said on Friday that the rift between the countries is a "family issue" and the four Arab states "should work it out".
"Even though they still didn't come back to us on this, asking Turkey to pull back its troops (from Qatar) is disrespectful against Turkey", he said.