Qatar receives list of demands from siege countries

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Qatar receives list of demands from siege countries

According to a report by the state-run Qatar News Agency, the demands issued by Saudi-led bloc of Arab countries have been dismissed by Doha after it was thoroughly reviewed by it's ministry of foreign affairs.

But the ultimatum was quickly rejected by Qatar's ally, Turkey, and blasted as an assault on free speech by Al-Jazeera, the Qatari broadcaster that the gas-rich country's neighbors are demanding be shut down.

"Any call to close to down or curtail Al-Jazeera is nothing but an attempt to muzzle a voice of democracy in the region and suppress freedom of expression", he said by phone.

That's just fine, the USA said.

Al-Thani added that the ultimatum, which the tiny Gulf emirate has been given 10 days to enact, failed to meet the "reasonable and actionable" criteria set out by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson earlier this week and a similar British benchmark that the requirements of Qatar should be "measured and realistic".

Agree to all the demands within 10 days of it being submitted to Qatar, or the list becomes invalid.

Correspondents say there has been frustration in Washington over the time taken by the Saudis and others to formalise their demands.

After mounting pressure from the USA state department to present a precise - and "reasonable" - list of demands to Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt sent a list, via Kuwaiti mediators, that detailed far-reaching requirements amounting to a complete reorientation of Doha's foreign policy and strategy for projecting its influence. In Egypt, Qatar backed an administration supported by the Muslim Brotherhood, he said, but also provided assistance during a prior period when it was ruled by a military council.

"I can say that the Turkish base in Qatar is for the training of Qatari soldiers and for the security of Qatar and the region".

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone with Qatar's emirm Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani, and reaffirmed Moscow's position "in favour of settling crisis situations by political and diplomatic means, through dialogue", the Kremlin said.

Friday, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik tried to allay criticism of the Turkish base in Qatar and warned against intervention.

The demands confirm that "the crisis is profound", Gargash added.

They called on Qatar to sever ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Jabhat Fateh al Sham.

The uncompromising demands leave little prospect for a quick end to the biggest diplomatic crisis for years between Sunni Arab Gulf states, regional analysts said.

The list - which apparently includes a call for Qatar to close down broadcaster Al-Jazeera - are the demands that Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt want met to end a diplomatic and trade "blockade" of Qatar, lasting nearly three weeks.

Other nations, like Turkey, have stood up for Qatar.

Qatar must cease any funding activities to extremist and terrorist individuals, entities and organisations.

It was also ordered to scale down its diplomatic relations with Iran, limit its commercial ties and expel members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards from its territory.

Supporting terrorist organizations is Saudi Arabia's job, and Qatar must immediately stop trying to horn in on that turf. Saudi Arabia wouldn't be alone in this, since it would probably have the support of the UAE and some of its other regional allies, with Qatar noticeably remaining absent from this arrangement in light of the recent Cold War that broke out between the two Persian Gulf countries.

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