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Qatar says demands by blockade states are not 'reasonable'

June 24, 2017 at 1:49 pm

A store attendant tidies the shelves at Al Meera market in Doha, Qatar on 9 June, 2017 [Mohamed Farag/Anadolu Agency]

Qatar said today that a list of demands by Saudi Arabia and its allies to end their blockade was not “reasonable” and “actionable”.

Sheikh Yusuf Bin Ahmed, the director of the government’s Communication Office, said the blockade was meant to “limit Qatar’s sovereignty and interfere in its foreign policy”, according to the official QNA news agency.

“We are reviewing these demands out of respect for … regional security and there will be an official response from our ministry of foreign affairs,” he said. Bin Ahmed said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had recently called upon Saudi Arabia and the other countries to produce a list of grievances that was “reasonable and actionable.”

“This list does not satisfy that criteria,” he added.

“What has been presented by the countries of the blockade are merely claims that are not proved by evidence and are not demands,” Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said.

The demands must be realistic and enforceable and otherwise are unacceptable.

On 5 June, five Arab countries – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Yemen — abruptly cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

Doha, for its part, strenuously denies accusations that it supports terrorism, describing the attempts to isolate it as “unjustified”.

Qatar said today that it has received a list of demands by the four countries to end their blockade on the Gulf country.

According to foreign media, the 13-point list of demands includes the closure of Al Jazeera television, downgrading ties with Iran and extraditing “terrorists”.

The four countries have given Doha a 10-day deadline to meet the demands.