Qatar given 48 more hours to accept demands

by Joy Montgomery July 4, 2017, 0:31
Qatar given 48 more hours to accept demands

Qatar's stock exchange has dropped following an extended holiday closure as the tiny Gulf nation faces a deadline to accept demands from four Arab countries.

The deadline imposed by the Arab states for Qatar to comply with a 13-point demand list was yesterday night.

Among the six Gulf Cooperation Council states, Kuwait and Oman did not join the anti-Qatar blockade and the Kuwaiti leadership has been communicating with all parties of the crisis to reach a solution.

Qatar's leaders have agreed to let Kuwait handle negotiations between Doha and its Gulf neighbours after they severed all diplomatic ties with the tiny kingdom last month.

But Saudi Arabia and its allies have insisted the demands were non-negotiable.

Doha is expected to submit its official response on Monday to Kuwait, which is mediating the crisis that started early last month when the Saudi-led alliance of Arab countries chose to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed a blockade on the gas-rich tiny Gulf nation. Qatar denies the allegations.

There was no other information about Qatar's official response, but the Qatari foreign minister has already said that Doha would not meet the demands, saying the list "was meant to be rejected".

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Qatar shares its only land border with Saudi Arabia, it rejects the accusations, calling them "unjustified" and "baseless".

UAE officials said that after the new deadline expires on Tuesday and then the offer for Qatar to return to the Arab fold will be off the table.

Meanwhile, President Trump "spoke with Qatar's emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, as well as King Salman of Saudi Arabia and Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of the Emirati capital, Abu Dhabi", according to the Associated Press.

In the list, the Arab countries also demanded that Doha cut all alleged relations with the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups, including Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and ISIS.

"President Trump, nevertheless, believes that the overriding objective of his initiative is the cessation of funding for terrorism", the White House readout said.

The coalition presented Qatar with its requirements to end the standoff after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged the Saudi-led bloc to lay out its demands.

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