Qatar crisis: Saudi-led coalition replaces 13 demands with 6 principles

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The four Arab countries that cut diplomatic ties with Qatar are understood to have dropped their list of 13 demands and proposed six principles with which they want Qatar to comply, latest media reports suggested.

This could indicate that the quartet is now more willing to engage in the mediation process led by Kuwait and backed by the United States, United Nations and European powers.

Diplomats from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt told reporters at the United Nations they now wanted it to accept six broad principles, BBC reported.

The six principles include commitments to combat terrorism and extremism and to end acts of provocation and incitement. There was no immediate comment from Qatar, which denies aiding terrorists.

According to Associated Press, Saudi Arabia’s UN ambassador, Abdallah Al Mouallimi, told a briefing for UN correspondents in New York on Tuesday that foreign ministers for Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain had agreed to the six principles at a meeting in Cairo on July 5.

  • The principles reportedly include commitments to combat extremism and terrorism, prevent financing and safe havens for extremist groups, and suspend all acts of inciting hatred and/or violence.

Al Mouallimi was quoted as saying there would be “no compromise” when it comes to asking Qatar to accept the six principles – but that he thought it should be “easy” for the Qataris to accept them.

He stressed that implementation and monitoring must be “essential components” of any agreement to resolve the diplomatic crisis that began in early June.

Diplomats from the four countries reaffirmed the principles at a press conference at the United Nations in New York, UAE-based The National reported.

The six principles

According to Al Jazeera, here are the proposed six principles:

  1. Commitment to combat extremism and terrorism in all their forms and to prevent their financing or providing havens.
  2. Suspending all acts of provocation and speeches inciting hatred or violence.
  3. Full compliance with the Riyadh Agreement of 2013 and the supplementary agreement and its implementation mechanisms of 2014 within the framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
  4. Adherence to all the outcomes of the Arab Islamic American Summit held in May 2017 in Riyadh.
  5. Refraining from interfering in the internal affairs of states and from supporting illegal entities.
  6. The responsibility of all states of the international community to confront all forms of extremism and terrorism as a threat to international peace and security.

The bloc initially made 13 demands which included cutting ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, curbing relations with Iran, and shutting down the controversial Al Jazeera broadcast network. Qatar had dismissed these 13 demands.

Closing Al Jazeera not necessary

Al Mouallimi reportedly said closing Al Jazeera might not be necessary, but that curbing incitement to violence and hatred was crucial.

“If the only way to achieve that is by closing down Al Jazeera, fine,” he was quoted as saying. “If we can achieve that without closing down Al Jazeera, that’s also fine. The important thing is the objective and the principle involved.”

“Of course we are all for compromise, but there will be no compromise on these six principles,” he said.

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In a recent interview, UAE minister for the federal national council, Noura al-Kaabi, had also stated that the demand to close down Al Jazeera has been dropped.

UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation Reem Al Hashimy said all the countries involved have strong relations with the United States “and we believe that the Americans have a very constructive and a very important role to play in hopefully creating a peaceful resolution to this current crisis.”

Published on 19 July 2017
Sources: BBC ,  Associated PressArabian Business , Al Jazeera , The National  , Haaretz

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