Saudi Arabia and allies to meet in Cairo to discuss Qatar crisis
A month after severing ties with Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are to discuss the Qatar crisis.
The meeting which will be attended by the foreign ministers in Cairo has come on the day the deadline had expired for Qatar to accept a list of demands or face further sanctions. The demands issued to Qatar had included the shutting down of Al Jazeera channel and scaling down ties with Iran.
On the other hand Qatar has called the list of demands “unrealistic and not actionable.”
Qatar has been accused of destabilizing the region because of supporting extremism and terrorism, which it has denied.
Unprecedented diplomatic and economic sanction from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain have been imposed on the tiny gulf state.
The imposed restrictions have caused turmoil in the oil and gas rich nation, the country is dependent on imports to adhere to the needs of its population.
Saudi Arab along with its allies on Monday, 3rd July 2017, had given Qatar an extra two days to accept their ultimatum for restoring relations, the deadline had been given after an earlier 10-day deadline expired.
The authorities of Doha have responded to the demands; however no details have been publicly released. It has been said by Qatar that the demands break international law.
Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman al-Thani on Tuesday, 4th July 2017, has described the demands as unrealistic. He added that “It’s not about terrorism, it’s talking about shutting down the freedom of speech.”
Saudi and allies have accused Doha of harbouring Islamist groups which they consider terrorist organizations, amongst these organizations is the Muslim Brotherhood and it has been further accused of giving them a platform on the Al Jazeera satellite channel, the channel is being funded by the Qatari state.
Qatar has denied all the accusations.
Due to the imposed sanctions, Iran and Turkey have been increasingly supplying Qatar with food and other goods.
Qatar on Tuesday, 4th July 2017, had announced plans for a steep rise in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) production capacity over the coming years.
Qatar is the world’s leading producer of LNG.
Amongst other demands which were obtained are:
- Refuse to naturalise citizens from Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE and expel those currently on its territory, in what the countries describe as an effort to keep Qatar from meddling in their internal affairs
- Hand over all individuals who are wanted by the four countries for terrorism
- Stop funding any extremist entities that are designated as terrorist groups by the US
- Provide detailed information about opposition figures whom Qatar has funded, ostensibly in Saudi Arabia and the other nations
- Align itself politically, economically and otherwise with the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC)
- Stop funding other news outlets in addition to Al Jazeera, including Arabi21 and Middle East Eye
- Pay an unspecified sum in compensation
The demands have not been officially unveiled. Their publication has increased the friction between the two sides.
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