Gulf diplomatic crisis: UAE clarifies it doesn't wants regime change in Qatar

Qatar has already said its ability to shape its own foreign policy and its relationship with Al Jazeera are not on the table.

Launched in 1996 with financial support from Qatar's rulers, Al-Jazeera has over the years grown into one of the Middle East's most influential and controversial media outlets. "If we can help facilitate those discussions then so be it, but this is something they want to and should work out for themselves".

"No offense but Turkey is not such an ordinary country [that will ask for permission]", Turkish President said. "We are ready to assist if requested by the parties".

"There can not be such an attack on countries' sovereignty rights in worldwide law".

Qatar's neighbours insisted the 13-point list of demands was their bottom line, not a starting point for negotiations.

"The measures that have been taken are there to stay until there is a long-term solution to the issue", said Yousef al-Otaiba, ambassador to the US from the United Arab Emirates.

"The four states can afford to wait, but Qatar cannot", said Fawaz Gerges, a Middle East expert at the London School of Economics. Otaiba says "there is no military element to this whatsoever". "It's very hard for us to maintain a collective grouping with one of the partners.actively promoting what is an extremist and terrorist agenda". He says sharing the document is either an "attempt to undermine serious mediation or yet another sign of callous policy".

The Sunni Muslim Arab group that imposed the sanctions on Qatar accuse it of funding terrorism, fomenting regional unrest and drawing too close to their Shi'ite Muslim enemy Iran. The AP obtained a copy from one of the countries involved in the dispute. This demand to shut down the network is an escalation of the efforts to clamp down on it and the media in general.

"The UK calls upon the Gulf states to find a way of deescalating the situation and lifting the current embargo and restrictions which are having an impact on the everyday lives of people in the region", said Johnson. "We remain determined and resolute to continue our courageous journalism, reporting frankly, fairly, and truthfully from around the world".

The Qatari foreign ministry said it was preparing its response, according to Al-Jazeera.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday welcomed Qatar's dismissal of a sweeping list of demands from Saudi Arabia and its allies in an escalating crisis and said the ultimatum was "against worldwide law".

AL-JAZEERA HAS accused Arab nations of trying to "silence the freedom of expression" in a list of demands they gave Qatar yesterday, threatening a "divorce" from its neighbours if it does not comply.

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani attends the 25th Arab Summit in Kuwait City, March 25, 2014.

Friday, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik tried to allay criticism of the Turkish base in Qatar and warned against intervention.

The Turkish parliament passed a bill this month allowing Ankara to send up to several thousand troops to the Turkish base in Qatar. The military said a contingent of 23 soldiers reached Doha on Thursday. Those countries have now given Qatar 10 days to comply with all of the demands, which include paying an unspecified sum in compensation.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday that Washington had been pushing for a clear list of grievances that are "reasonable and actionable".

Saudi Arabia and its allies have put enormous pressure on Qatar to meet their demands.

According to the list, Qatar must refuse to naturalize citizens from the four countries and expel those now in Qatar, in what the countries describe as an effort to keep Qatar from meddling in their internal affairs.

Saudi Arabia has asked Qatar to stop supporting Daesh and al-Qaeda, while the Saudis are the flag-bearer of backing the terrorist groups and Qataris could also ask the same question of the Riyadh regime, he added. Hand over files detailing Qatar's prior contact with and support for opposition groups, and submit details of their personal information and the support Qatar has provided them. It has also financed Al-Jazeera, which is often critical of Qatar's rivals. Kuwait and Oman are the only members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) not to join the blockade.

Qatar has been under unprecedented diplomatic and economic sanctions for more than two weeks, with Iran and Turkey increasingly supplying it with food and other goods.

  • Leroy Wright