Qatar faced possible further sanctions by Arab states that have severed ties with Doha over allegations of links to terrorism, as a deadline to accept their demands expired on Sunday night, Reuters reports.
Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said the demands were made to be rejected, adding that the Arab ultimatum was aimed not at tackling terrorism but at curtailing his country’s sovereignty.
State news agency QNA reported that he would inform the ruler of Kuwait, a neutral Gulf Arab country seeking to mediate in the spat, of Qatar’s response on Monday.
Sheikh Mohammed earlier told reporters in Rome that Doha remained ready to discuss the grievances of its Arab neighbors.
“This list of demands is made to be rejected. It’s not meant to be accepted or … to be negotiated,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
“The state of Qatar instead of rejecting it as a principle, we are willing to engage in [dialogue], providing the proper conditions for further dialogue.”
He added that no one had the right to issue an ultimatum to a sovereign country.
The feud erupted last month when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and travel ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism and being an ally of regional foe Iran, charges that Doha denies.
The countries have threatened further sanctions against Qatar if it does not comply with their list of 13 demands presented to Doha through Kuwait 10 days ago.
The demands include closing a Turkish military base in Qatar and shutting the Al Jazeera pan-Arab television network, which Doha also rejected.
Foreign ministers from the four countries will meet in Cairo on Wednesday to discuss Qatar, Egypt said on Sunday.
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