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Germany slams Saudi Arabia's 'provocative' demands on Qatar

Germany has backed Qatar in its dispute with its Gulf neighbours [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 27 June, 2017

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Germany says Saudi Arabia and its allies' demands on Qatar are 'very provocative' and challenges the Gulf state's sovereignty.
Germany has described Saudi Arabia and its allies' demands on Qatar as "very provocative", saying the ultimatum threatens Doha's sovereignty.

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Monday that the 13 point list of demands issued by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt included some which challenged Qatar's independence.

Among the demands made by Riyadh and its allies is that Qatar shutter media channels such as al-Jazeera and al-Araby al-Jadeed, close a Turkish military base, and pay "compensation" to Gulf states and Egypt.

Gabriel said it would be difficult for Qatar to accept all 13 demands on the "very provocative list", speaking at a European Council on Foreign Relations meeting in Berlin.

Also speaking at the forum was Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif who called on Europe to help end the crisis between the Gulf states.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt ended diplomatic relations with Qatar earlier this month, and enforced a blockade on Doha from land, sea and air.

They accused Qatar of "sponsoring terrorism", allying with Iran, and hosting "fugitives" wanted by Saudi Arabia or its allies.

A 13-point list of demands was issued by the states, and gave Qatar ten days to comply.

The situation has led Qatar to circumvent the Gulf blockade by increasing trade with Turkey, Iran, India and Oman.

Ankara has responded by shipping in vital food and other essentials, while Turkish troops have reinforced a base in Qatar.

Earlier this month, Germany's foreign minister slammed the "Trumpification" of relations in the Gulf region and warned the crisis could lead to war.

"US President Trump's recent giant military contracts which Gulf monarchies raise the risk of a new spiral in arms sales," said Gabriel.

"This policy is completely wrong and is certainly not Germany's policy... I am very concerned with the dramatic escalation and the consequences for the whole region."

Gabriel and Zarif are due to meet in Berlin to discuss the blockade on Qatar.


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