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Qatar rejects demands list as 'unreasonable'

A protest in Gaza in support of Qatar's opposition to the blockade [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 24 June, 2017

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A Qatari spokesperson said the list was unreasonable, after the country's foreign minister said Doha would only negotiate on matters related to 'GCC collective security'.

Qatar dismissed the 13-point list of demands made by Saudi Arabia and its allies as “unreasonable” on Saturday.

In Qatar's first response, Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed Al-Thani, a government spokesperson, said on Saturday that the demands exceeded their stated intentions of fighting terrorism.

"This blockade is not aimed at fighting terrorism but at impinging on Qatar's sovereignty and interfering in its foreign policy," said Sheikh Saif.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt issued their demands on Thursday via Kuwait, which has acted as an intermediary in the on-going diplomatic furore.

UAE foreign affairs minister, Anwar Gargash, warned Qatar should "deal seriously" with the 13 points or face "divorce" from its neighbours on Friday.

The country’s foreign minister on Saturday also said Doha would not capitulate to the demands which affected Qatar’s sovereignty or independence.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman al-Thani told Russia's RT Arabic Qatar would only negotiate matters related to 'GCC collective security'.

One of the top demands on the list sent by the Arab quartet was the shuttering of the independent media outlet, al-Jazeera, seen by many to be the real reason behind the almost two-week blockade against Qatar.

Doha’s neighbours also demanded the immediate closure of Turkey's military base in Qatar and its mutual military cooperation with the NATO member.

Sheikh Mohammed accused Qatar’s accusers of lacking clarity in their demands, adding that their reasons do not stand up.

"Qatar is accused of having a hidden relationship with Iran, but its relations with Iran are clear, transparent and time-tested," said al-Thani, noting that the UAE does more trade with Iran than Qatar.

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