Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Tillerson urges Qatar and boycotting Arab countries to resolve crisis

Sandy Vega | 27 June, 2017, 06:16

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of support for Islamist militants, an allegation Qatar denies.

In their apparent bid to secure U.S. support and that of Israel, Riyadh, Manama, Cairo and Abu Dhabi suspended all land, air and sea traffic with Qatar, expelled its diplomats and ordered Qatari citizens to leave their countries.

QNA said that the rights body had "noted that these violations were shown in several ways, such as not allowing Qatari students to complete exams at the end of the academic year, and refused to give them certificates of graduation and the closure of their educational accounts as well as the termination of their registration arbitrarily without giving reasons".

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt want Doha to comply with the demands in return for an end to the three-week-old diplomatic and trade blockade of Qatar.

"The siege cannot be subject to restrictions or conditions because it is in contravention of worldwide agreements and human rights conventions", it said.

The group has since issued 13 demands to Qatar, including closing Al Jazeera television, curbing relations with Iran, shutting a Turkish base and paying reparations.

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"Just like the presence of other foreign military bases or units in other countries of the region, our military presence in Qatar is principally based on a decision taken by the two countries relying on their sovereign rights", ministry spokesman Huseyin Muftuoglu said.

"A productive next step would be for each of the countries to sit together and continue this conversation", Tillerson said.

"Each country involved has something to contribute to that effort. 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". At the same time, the director of Qatar's government's communications office, Sheikh Saif Al Thani, called the Gulf States' demands "unrealistic" and said they were aimed at limiting Qatar's sovereignty. Kuwait handed the list of collective demands to Doha on Thursday, according to Qatar News Agency.

"NHRC noted that Qatar's acceptance of these demands and conditions would subject the country to global accountability and violate its obligations on human rights conventions".

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called Al-Thani on Sunday to reiterate Tehran's policy to "cement ties" with Doha.

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