Date
15 December 2017
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the demands by the kingdom and other Arab states for Qatar to stop supporting terrorism are non-negotiable. Photo: AFP
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the demands by the kingdom and other Arab states for Qatar to stop supporting terrorism are non-negotiable. Photo: AFP

Saudi, Qatar ministers spar over Arab nations’ demands

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said there would be no negotiations over demands by the kingdom and other Arab states for Qatar to stop supporting terrorism, Reuters reports.

Doha retorted that the allegations against it and demands were baseless and unacceptable, the news agency said. Qatar has previously also said the demands were aimed at curbing its sovereignty.

Asked by reporters on a visit to Washington on Tuesday if the demands were non-negotiable, Saudi’s Jubeir said: “Yes.”

“We made our point, we took our steps and it’s up to the Qataris to amend their behavior and once they do things will be worked out but if they don’t they will remain isolated,” Jubeir said.

If Qatar wanted to return to the fold of the Gulf Cooperation Council, “they know what they have to do”, he said.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a boycott on Qatar three weeks ago, accusing it of backing militants – then issued an ultimatum, including demands it shut down a Turkish military base in Doha, shutting the Al Jazeera TV channel and curbing ties with Iran.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani at the State Department on Tuesday.

Al Jazeera quoted Al Thani as saying in response to Saudi’s Jubeir that the countries had presented “claims that are not proved by evidence and are not demands”.

“The demands must be realistic and enforceable and otherwise are unacceptable,” Al Jazeera reported him as saying.

“We agree with Washington that the demands should be reasonable.”

Tillerson has said he hopes the list of demands would be “reasonable and actionable”.

On Sunday, Tillerson said that while some elements of the series of requests made by the four countries would be “very difficult for Qatar to meet”, “there are significant areas which provide a basis for ongoing dialogue leading to resolution”.

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RC/CG

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