Demands To End Blockade Are Unproven Claims

The Gulf states' list of demands for Qatar are hard for Doha to meet - the list includes closing Al Jazeera, opening Qatar up to audit, and ditching close ties with Iran.

The UAE's ambassador Omar Ghobash to Russian Federation has said on Wednesday that Qatar could face fresh sanctions if it does not comply with the demands. His statement concisely summed up the major complaints leveled by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and other Sunni Arab nations that have been effectively blockading Qatar for the past three weeks.

"We do not support terrorism, we do not interfere in the internal affairs of our neighbors, and we are not secret allies of Iran", al-Thani insisted. "We can not afford another conflict in the region". In reality, the aggressive Saudi-led blockade is an act of war in itself that has been followed by an ultimatum created to be rejected.

However, Qatar rejected these demands expressed in such a manner (one of the points of the ultimatum was the 10-day deadline for its adoption) describing them as humiliating and unacceptable.

The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who has been trying to mediate the crisis between the US Gulf allies on Sunday indicated that some of the requests made by the bloc would be "very hard for Qatar to meet".

Saudi Arabia reiterated Tuesday that its demands on Qatar were not negotiable.

Al-Thani did not specify what sort of legal action in particular Qatar will pursue. When Donald Trump said; "Qatar must stop funding terrorism" it was a real shock to many.

"We emphasise that the Middle East, as the rest of the world, needs media companies to report news and current events, and give the public information and background analysis on what, when, how and why they occur", they said. He added "We have to make it very clear for everyone, negotiations must be done in a civilised way and should have a solid basis and not under pressure or under blockade". The State Department and Pentagon have reiterated that they would like a quick end to the standoff; the biggest USA military base in the region, and the launching pad for US strikes on Islamic State, is in Qatar.

Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he would be willing to block US arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and their neighbors in the Gulf Cooperation Council, if that would push them toward ending their standoff, since all are important American allies in the region. It added that they discussed Qatar's role as an active member in the Operation Inherent Resolve as well as its active role in the worldwide coalition against terrorism and extremism.

Al Thani said the senator's efforts are "highly appreciated and it should contribute to push this process forward".

Vanessa Coleman

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