Published: Sat, June 24, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Qatar receives list of demands from siege countries


File image of United Nations headquarters.

Qatar also said it is reviewing the demands and is preparing an official response to them.

Turkey has continued to support Qatar throughout the boycott, sending troops to the country, and Iran has sent food supplies.

The U.S. has offered to help mediate. But Al-Otaiba said the Kuwaitis will take the lead.

Over the past years, powerful Gulf states like Saudi Arabia and the UAE have expressed on different occasions their worries about alleged Doha's support to radical Islamist movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

On Thursday, a USA state department spokeswoman said that the demands have to be "reasonable and actionable".

In what might be seen as a warning for many countries in the region, the senior White House official told Fox News that the president is interested in behavior modification, and "not just Qatar's".

"This debate [to shut down Al-Jazeera] is very old and has been going on since 1996", Khanfar said. He told The Associated Press on Friday that the network stands firm in providing "our usual comprehensive and impartial coverage of events around the world".

"We remain committed to doing journalism", he said.

If Qatar does not engage, "things will stay at the status quo, things will stay as they are", he said.

Four Arab states that have boycotted Qatar have handed the country a list of 13 demands, including some likely to infuriate Doha and exacerbate the region's worst crisis in decades.

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The demand was presented by Kuwait, which is helping in the mediation.

Qatar must immoderately shut down the Turkish military base that is being established, and halt any military co-operation with Turkey in Qatar.

"If there is such a demand, it will mean interference in bilateral ties", Isik said, suggesting instead that Turkey might continue to bolster its presence in Qatar.

Tillerson has taken the lead on mediation to resolve the crisis, given the US stake in the American military base in Qatar, the largest in the region, and in unity against the self-described Islamic State and other militant organizations.

Qatari officials in Doha did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the AP.

Doha has reached out to the boycotters for de-escalating negotiations but has said it will not allow its neighbors to dictate its sovereign affairs.

Only a day earlier, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had warned the demands must be "reasonable and actionable".

It also demands that Qatar pay reparations to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt for damages or costs incurred because of Qatari policies, according to Reuters. In some places in the Middle East, the satellite network, which is partly funded by the Qatari ruling family, was the first widely available non-government-owned broadcaster, making it a longstanding thorn in the side of some governments.

Two days ago, Turkish President Reccep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly held talks via phone with leaders of Saudi Arabia, King Salman and its new crown prince to seek ways to end the diplomatic row between Qatar and Gulf of Arab states.

Expel members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard from Qatar and cut off any joint military cooperation with Iran. The UAE has said sanctions could last for years.

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