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People's Daily Online

Arab neighbors send Qatar list of tough demands for ending crisis

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 09:16, June 24, 2017

CAIRO, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Four Arab states that have severed ties with Qatar have issued a list of 13 demands for Doha to end the crisis, including reducing its ties with Iran and closing the Al-Jazeera TV station.

The list reportedly was presented to Doha by Kuwait, which is trying to mediate the crisis since Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar early the month and imposed sanctions on the tiny Gulf nation.

In the list, the Saudi-led alliance demands Doha reduce diplomatic representation with Iran, the world's leading Shiite power, and cut off any joint military or intelligence cooperation with Tehran, the Saudi-run Al-Arabiya TV reported.

Qatar is also required to immediately terminate its construction of a Turkish military base and stop any joint military cooperation with Turkey on Qatari territories.

The list also says that Qatar must sever all ties with "terrorist organizations" including the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic State, al-Qaida, Lebanon's Hezbollah and Fatah al-Sham, formerly known as Nusra Front, and label them as terrorist groups.

Additionally, the lists demands Qatar stop all means of funding individuals, groups and organizations that have been designated as terrorists by the alliance, the United States and other countries.

Qatar also must hand over "terrorist figures" and "wanted individuals" from the four Arab countries to their countries of origin, freeze their assets, and stop providing any future sanctuary to any outlawed members, the list says.

Doha must close its satellite TV station Al-Jazeera and all its affiliates, according to the list. The Saudi-led alliance has slammed Al-Jazeera for inciting against them and the Gulf Cooperation Council, of which Qatar is also a member.

The Arab powers gives Qatar only 10 days to comply or the offer will be void. It added that Qatar must be monitored annually within next 10 years for compliance of the list even Doha accepts the demands.

The list could be a non-starter as the Qatari government has said it will not negotiate unless the Arab neighbors lift their blockade first.

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.

They also accuse Qatar of having close relations with Riyadh's arch rival Iran.

Qatar has vehemently denied all the accusations against it as unjustified, defending itself as a country fighting extremism and terrorism.

During the three-week-long crisis, Turkey and Iran have sided with Qatar and provided food aid to it to help break the blockade.

Kuwait and Oman, as well as Turkey, have been trying to push the rivaling parties to bring the crisis to an end through dialogue and negotiations.

The United States has already called for an earlier end to the crisis, citing it damages its counterterrorism operations against IS terrorists in Syria and Iraq as Qatar hosts a major U.S. military base in the region.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had urged the Saudi-led alliance to produce a "reasonable and actionable" list of demands for Qatar.

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