Qatar’s response to Arab quartet’s demands ‘very negative,’ Egyptian FM says

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry

DOHA, 6 July : Qatar’s response to four Arab states’ demands was “very negative” and “indicates a lack of awareness of how dangerous the situation is,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said Wednesday in Cairo.

And the political boycott by the four nations — Bahrain, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia — will continue until Qatar changes its policies, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubair said.

“We will consult and we will take future steps in the right time,” Al-Jubair said.

Shoukry and Al-Jubair spoke after they and their counterparts from the UAE and Bahrain met in Cairo to discuss Qatar’s response to a list of demands to resolve the diplomatic standoff.

The four foreign ministers will next meet in Manama, Bahrain, at an unspecified date, Shoukry said.

Meanwhile, Qatar’s foreign minister says his country won’t comply with any demands that it considers in violation of international law.

“If you are looking at the demands — there are accusations that Qatar is supporting terrorism — they are shutting free speech, shutting the media outlets, expelling people … . So there are a lot of demands which are against the international law,” Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

The four Arab states in a diplomatic standoff with Qatar say they have received a response from Doha to their list of demands, just as the quartet’s foreign ministers prepare to meet in Cairo to coordinate actions over the Gulf crisis.

The skyline of Doha, Qatar

Bahrain, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia suspended diplomatic relations and cut off land, sea and air travel to Qatar last month, accusing the country of funding terrorism and destabilizing the Middle East. Qatar has rejected those accusations.

The country had until Wednesday to reply to a list of 13 stipulations after the four-country bloc had agreed to extend the initial deadline by 48 hours.

The demands included the closure of the Al Jazeera media network, a reduction in diplomatic ties with Iran and the halting of a Turkish military base in Qatar.

The Qatari response was handed over by Kuwait, which is acting as a mediator in the dispute.

Foreign ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain are set to meet in Cairo to “advance coordination and consultation” over the Qatar crisis, according to Egypt’s foreign ministry.

The ministry’s statement added that the ministers would be “exchanging views and assessments vis-a-vis the ongoing international and regional contacts” with regards to the diplomatic standoff.

The meeting happens a day after the quartet’s intelligence chiefs met in Cairo, according to Egypt’s official news agency MENA.

CNN

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