Arab states disappointed with Qatar's 'negative' response to list of demands

Posted July 07, 2017

"We are today at a new situation after the Qatari rejection, and it is a rejection that will not pass without a price, and Qatar alone bears responsibility for this reaction".

The demands included Doha ending support for the Muslim Brotherhood, closing broadcaster Al Jazeera, downgrading diplomatic ties with Iran and shutting down a Turkish military base in the emirate.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said the four countries reiterated the necessity to combat terrorism and to dry up its sources.

He said the demand shows "a lack of respect toward us and Qatar".

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani spoke at the London-based Chatham House global affairs think tank, saying the country has "the highest per capita GDP in the world, a world cup to look forward in 2022".

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Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt as well as the internationally recognized government of war-torn Yemen broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar in a major worldwide rift on June 5, 2017.

The meeting came as the deadline for Qatar to accept the list of demands or face further sanctions expired.

"You have to ask what the next step is" for Qatar's leader, said Kattouf, former US ambassador to Syria and the United Arab Emirates .

In a further escalation, Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa declared that any suspension of Qatar's membership in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) would be decided "by the GCC alone", suggesting that Doha's expulsion from the six-member council could be imminent.

The country's response to the demands has not been made public.

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Saudi foreign minister Abdel al-Jubeir at the Cairo meeting said the blockades will remain in place until "Qatar changes its policies for the better".

In a joint statement, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates said they would respond "in a timely manner", but did not specify steps they intend to take.

UAE minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash said in a tweet Qatar faced "greater isolation, incremental measures and reputational damage" if it did not heed the demands.

However, Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan was more belligerent in his criticism of Qatar, saying it is only interested in "destruction, incitement, extremism and terrorism".

Any further steps taken against Qatar would be "taken at the appropriate time" and be "in line with worldwide law". They also imposed an economic and transport blockade, which ended air links with Doha and closed the crossing at Qatar's only land border with Saudi Arabia.

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Ahead of the meeting to discuss Qatar's response, United States president Donald Trump spoke with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah El Sisi and "called on all parties to negotiate constructively to resolve the dispute", the White House said.