In a bid to end the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf region, Saudi Arabia along with other Arab countries have sent a list of 13 demands to Qatar.
The Arab nations and allies want Qatar to cut back diplomatic ties with Iran, shut the news outfit Al-Jazeera, close a Turkish military base and sever all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and with other groups including Hezbollah, al-Qaida and Islamic State. One of the demands also asks Qatar to pay an unspecified amount of money as compensation.
According to the list, Qatar must refuse to naturalize citizens from the four countries and expel those currently in Qatar, in what the countries describe as an effort to keep Qatar from meddling in their internal affairs. They also demand that Qatar hand over all individuals who are wanted by those four countries for terrorism; stop funding any extremist entities that are designated as terrorist groups by the US; and provide detailed information about opposition figures that Qatar has funded, ostensibly in Saudi Arabia and the other nations.
Qatar has been given 10 days to comply with the demands.
Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain had cut ties with Qatar over allegations that the country funded terrorism. Even though Qatar refuted all allegations, the country acknowledges that it allows members of some extremist groups such as Hamas to reside in Qatar, arguing that fostering dialogue with those groups is key to resolving global conflicts.
Earlier, Qatar’s government had said it won’t negotiate until Arab nations lift their blockade.
Kuwait, who has been trying to broker a peace deal between the warring countries, presented the demand list to Qatar.
Only a day earlier, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had warned the demands must be “reasonable and actionable.”
The US had expressed frustration that Saudi Arabia and the others were taking too long to formalise the list of demands. The US had also called for a resolution to the worst Gulf diplomatic crisis in years.
(With inputs from agencies)