Qatar gives Kuwait response to demands by Arab allies boycotting Doha

Arab leaders meeting used to illustrate the story [Photo: Ynetnews]
Arab leaders meeting used to illustrate the story [Photo: Ynetnews]

Qatar delivered its response on Monday to the list of demands issued by Arab countries that cut diplomatic ties with Doha after the Arab allies agreed to extend their deadline by 48 hours.

Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani met Kuwaiti Emir Sabah al-Ahmed and handed him a written letter by Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad with Doha’s response, the Kuwaiti news agency reported.

Kuwait has been acting as a mediator to resolve the crisis which began in early June when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt severed their relations with their small Gulf neighbour.

Al-Thani arrived in Kuwait, hours after the four Arab allies agreed to a 48-hour deadline extension proposed by Kuwait.

The foreign ministers of Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are scheduled to meet in Cairo on Wednesday to discuss “future steps” in dealing with Qatar.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said during a press conference with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel in Jeddah that Saudi Arabia and its allies have long had concerns about Qatari policies that are harmful to the world and have not seen much effort to reverse those stances.

“The aim is to change Qatar’s policies, which we believe harm Qatar, the region and the world.

““The latest diplomatic dispute was not the first,’’ al-Jubeir added.

He noted that agreements signed in 2013 and 2014 designed to get Qatar to stop supporting terrorist powers.

““The Qataris have made some progress, but certainly not sufficient progress to be satisfactory,’’ he said.

Gabriel said he was doing his best to stay neutral in the matter, though he noted the different countries would take advantage of the crisis to work out a joint policy against terrorism.

““It should be possible that the financing of extremist and terrorist organisations in the region can be stopped,’’ Gabriel said, noting that, in his view, the best outcome of the crisis would be a “a joint agreement” against support for terrorism.

Al-Jubeir said he had yet to see the Qatari response handed to Kuwait.

““We look forward to receiving the response. We hope the response is positive so we can reach a satisfactory solution to the crisis,’’ he said.

In June, the Arab countries severed diplomatic ties and transportation links with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism, a charge that Doha denies.

Later, the four countries placed on terrorism lists 59 figures and 12 groups with alleged links to Qatar.

Doha has called the boycott a “siege” and “collective punishment.”

Qatar disclosed a list of 13 demands issued by the four countries, which included downgrading ties with Iran, a regional rival of Saudi Arabia; stopping support for Islamist groups; and shutting down the Doha-based broadcaster Al Jazeera and its channels.

In 2014, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain temporarily withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar, accusing it of breaching a regional security pact.

However, that dispute was resolved through Kuwait’s mediation.

(dpa/NAN)


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