Qatar delivers its official response to Saudi-led demands

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Qatar on Monday handed its official response to a list of demands by Saudi Arabia and its allies to the Emir of Kuwait, various news agencies have reported.

The response was delivered by Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, who made a short visit to Kuwait today.

No details provided about the response

No details were provided about the Qatari response but the foreign minister said on Saturday that the demands by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt “were made to be rejected”.

Speaking to reporters in Rome on Saturday, Sheikh Mohamed had said the demands were made to be rejected, adding that the Arab ultimatum was aimed not at tackling terrorism but at curtailing Qatar’s sovereignty.

But he said Doha remained ready to sit down and discuss the grievances raised by its Arab neighbours.

Kuwait’s official news agency reported that Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani arrived in Kuwait earlier in the day to deliver a message from Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Kuwait is mediating in the dispute.

Trump speaks with Gulf leaders

US President Donald Trump spoke separately with leaders of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi late on Sunday.

He “underscored that unity in the region is critical to accomplishing the Riyadh summit’s goals of defeating terrorism and promoting regional stability”, the White House said.

The four countries accuse Qatar of supporting extremist groups, a charge the nation denies. The list of 13 demands includes cutting back ties with Iran and shutting its Al Jazeera news channel.

Qatari officials have said the requirements were unreasonable and vowed to withstand the isolation

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The coalition had given Qatar a 10-day deadline to comply that ended on Monday, before agreeing to a 48-hour extension at the request of the Kuwaiti ruler.

Qatar’s response will be the focus of a gathering in Cairo on Wednesday of foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE.

Published on 3 July 2017

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