Gulf nations want Qatar to accept 6 anti-terror measures

RSTV Bureau
Jiddah : U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, center left, is welcomed by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir upon his arrival in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, Wednesday, July 12, 2017. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has held talks with the king of Saudi Arabia and other officials from the countries lined up against Qatar, but there has been no sign of a breakthrough so far in an increasingly entrenched dispute that has divided some of America's most important Mideast allies. AP/PTI

Jiddah : U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, center left, is welcomed by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir upon his arrival in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, Wednesday, July 12, 2017. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has held talks with the king of Saudi Arabia and other officials from the countries lined up against Qatar, but there has been no sign of a breakthrough so far in an increasingly entrenched dispute that has divided some of America’s most important Mideast allies. AP/PTI

Four Arab nations that cut ties with Qatar have urged the Gulf nation to commit to six principles to combat extremism and terrorism. This is part of the efforts to resolve the ongoing diplomatic crisis.

The principles include commitments to fight terrorism, prevent financing and safe havens for terror outfits, and suspend all acts of provocation and speeches inciting hatred or violence.

Saudi Arabia’s UN Ambassador Al-Mouallimi said the four-nation quartet thinks it “should be easy for the Qataris to accept” the six principles. He stressed that implementation and monitoring must be “essential components,” and “there will be no compromise when it comes to principles.”

But he said both sides can talk about details of “the tactics” and “the tools” to implement them “and that’s where we can have discussion and compromise.”

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain broke diplomatic relations with Qatar in early June largely over their allegations that it supports terrorist and extremist groups. Qatar, on its part, had rejected the charges.

Abdallah Al-Mouallimi told a briefing for a group of UN correspondents that the four nations are now committed to the six principles agreed to by their foreign ministers at a meeting in Cairo on July 5.

UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation Reem Al Hashimy said all the countries involved have strong relations with the United States and they 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.”

President Donald Trump has sided strongly with Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the dispute, publicly backing their contention that Qatar is a supporter of Islamic militant groups and a destabilizing force in the Middle East.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently concluded several days of shuttle diplomacy and sealed a deal to intensify Qatar’s counterterrorism efforts.

The memorandum of understanding signed by the US and Qatar lays out steps Qatar can take to bolster its fight against terrorism and address shortfalls in policing terrorism funding.

Al-Mouallimi stressed that Qatar’s future lies with its neighbors not with “faraway places,” a clear reference to Turkey and Iran which are supporting Doha.

UAE Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh said that “if Qatar is unwilling to accept core principles around what defines terrorism or extremism in our region, it will be very difficult” for it to remain in the Gulf Cooperation Council with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain.

(With inputs from agencies)