Gulf states issue 13 demands to Qatar as rift continues


Accusing Qatar of supporting extremists and Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have suspended diplomatic ties and severed air links, among other measures.

The list also contained demands that Qatar close down a Turkish military base on its territory and shut down Doha-based broadcaster Al-Jazeera.

The AP added that the list stipulates Qatar must sever diplomatic ties with Iran as well as repay an unspecified amount of money to the boycotting countries.

Commenting on the requirements of the Arab countries, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik said today that the Turkish military base in Qatar is exclusively an internal issue of Ankara and Doha.

The terrorist list included the Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual leader and head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), Shiekh Yousuf al-Qaradawi and Abdullah bin Khalid, a former interior minister of Qatar.

He also noted that Qatar "has for many years openly financed Hamas, a group that continues to undermine regional stability".

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Emirates and Bahrain have required Qatar to close the Al Jazeera headquarters.

- Shut down news outlets that Qatar funds, directly and indirectly, including Arabi21, Rassd, Al Araby Al-Jadeed and Middle East Eye.

"Iran has delivered good exports to Qatar to compensate for Qatar's reliance on Saudi food supplies that have been cut off", the report stated. Only trade and commerce with Iran that complies with US and global sanctions will be permitted.

Declare that it is cutting off ties with terrorist, sectarian and ideological organisations like the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Jabhat Fateh al Sham.

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-Stop funding groups that are designated by the US government as foreign terrorist organizations.

Gargash called on Qatar to stop harbouring individuals who are sanctioned regionally and internationally for terrorism, as he put it.

Nevertheless, Qatar has 10 days to fulfill all the requirements and it is hard to predict "surprises" which are being prepared by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain for Doha and Ankara.

- Stop the practice of giving Qatari nationality to citizens of the four countries. For the following 10 years, Qatar would be monitored annually for compliance. The sum will be determined in coordination with Qatar.

- Halt the development of a Turkish military base in the country.

The Maldives and Libya later joined the countries that have isolated Qatar.

He reiterated the position taken by the Qatari government that shuttering the network is not an item up for negotiation.

If Qatar agrees to comply, the list asserts that it will be audited once a month for the first year, and then once per quarter in the second year after it takes effect.

New tensions erupted Friday in a feud between Qatar and a group of Arab nations led by Saudi Arabia after the leak of an onerous list of demands to be met by Qatar, including the shuttering of the Al Jazeera news channel.