UAE Official Calls On US, EU To Help 'Guarantee' Any Qatar Agreement
UAE Official Calls On US, EU To Help 'Guarantee' Any Qatar Agreement
26 June, 2017, 02:38
The president said the 13-point demand list by Arab states, already rejected by Qatar, contradicted worldwide law.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday criticized some of the demands by Saudi Arabia and its allies on Qatar as "very difficult" to meet and urged the countries to tamp down the rhetoric and start negotiating.
Diplomatic relations were cut with Qatar by four Arab neighbors including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt on June 5 who accused the small oil-rich country of having ties with "terrorist organizations", including the Muslim Brotherhood.
The list of 13 demands submitted by Saudi Arabia and its allies include downgrading ties with Iran, stopping support for Islamist groups, closing a Turkish military base in Qatar and shutting down the Doha-based television broadcaster Al Jazeera and its channels.
After the demands were made on Friday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the dispute was "a family issue" that the countries should work out together.
Mr Tillerson is also calling for a "lowering of rhetoric" to "help ease the tension" and said the USA is supporting Kuwait's efforts to mediate.
Al Jazeera's James Bays, reporting from Washington, DC, said Tillerson's statement on Sunday was the first formal response from the US State Department since the release of the 13 demands.
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Anwar Gargash, the UAE's state minister for foreign affairs, said Qatar should yield to the demands.
The United States said the demands on Qatar by its Mideast neighbors "will be very hard to meet". "The United States will continue to stay in close contact with all parties and will continue to support the mediation efforts of the Emir of Kuwait", the statement added.
The United Nations aviation agency will hold a special hearing on June 30 after Qatar requested that the UN body intervene in the diplomatic crisis which has seen a Saudi-led bloc close its airspace to flights from Doha. "It is a breach of Qatar's sovereign rights".
Qatar's Foreign Ministry said it was "studying" the list, "in order to prepare an appropriate response".
The diplomatic tiff, which some observers believe President Donald Trump might have encouraged through his full-throated support for Saudi Arabia during a recent visit, could threaten the future of a huge U.S. air base in Qatar.
Sheikh Saif Al Thani, director of Qatar's government communications office, said the list of demands falls short of Tillerson's "reasonable and actionable" test and were instead an effort to limit the country's sovereignty.
The Saudi alliance has severed diplomatic and transport links with Qatar, accusing their fellow Gulf Cooperation Council member of supporting terrorism and cozying up to Iran.
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He said he had offered to set up a military base in Saudi Arabia as well as Qatar but that Riyadh had not responded. The US maintains its largest concentration of military personnel in the Middle East at Qatar's Al Udeid Air Base.
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