Saudi Bloc Slams Qatar But Stops Short of Imposing New Sanctions

Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed Al Thani
Qatar Foreign Minister Arrives in Kuwait to Respond to Arab States Demands Sputnik Eugene Odinokov
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07 July, 2017

A report by a British think tank on Wednesday claims that Saudi Arabia is the principle foreign promoter of Islamist extremism in the United Kingdom and alleges a "clear and growing link" between overseas funding and violent Jihadist groups in the country.

Qatar faces further isolation and possible expulsion from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) if its response to a list of demands made almost two weeks ago is not satisfactory, state-backed Gulf media said on Wednesday.

The demands included that Qatar shut down the Al Jazeera Media Network, close a Turkish military base and scale down ties with Iran.

Stressing that Doha had consistently called for resolving the crisis through dialogue, he said Qatar had always supported the worldwide fight against terrorism - despite assertions to the contrary now emanating from Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Cairo.

Shoukri said the ministers discussed Qatar's response and "possible future actions", which will aim at "fighting terrorism".

Shukri also accused Qatar of failing "to realize the gravity of the situation", AP reported.

"The political and economic boycott will continue until Qatar changes its policies for the better", Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told a news conference.

"We have absolutely no fear of having the embargo in place", he said.

More news: Saudi Arabia says no negotiations over Qatar demands

Foreign ministers from the four Arab states leading the boycott of Qatar said the restrictions will remain but they did not announce new sanctions against the tiny Gulf nation. That is why Qatar enjoys strong support of Turkey, the most powerful North Atlantic Treaty Organisation country in the region.

Al-Kaabi said that if some companies do not want to work with Qatar, this is their choice, and we will find other foreign companies working with it, stressing that Doha will not cut gas from any country.

"This list of demands confirms what Qatar has said from the beginning - the illegal blockade has nothing to do with combating terrorism, it is about limiting Qatar's sovereignty, and outsourcing our foreign policy", Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed Al Thani, director of the Qatari government's communications office, said in a statement on Friday.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt had announced in the early hours of Monday they were pushing back a deadline for Qatar to agree to a list of 13 demands they issued on June 22. "We are states of sovereignties and we have the right to take any measures in line with global law".

Qatar has refused to comply with the 13 demands made by the Saudi-led quartet, so now the ball is in their court.

Ahead of the Cairo meeting, Donald Trump called Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi over the Gulf crisis. "If it requests us to leave, we will not stay where we are not wanted", he said through an interpreter, adding there had been no such request.

"We found over 23,000 Twitter accounts driven by Qatar, some of them linked to accounts calling for "revolution" in Saudi Arabia", Information Minister Awwad Saleh al-Awwad told AFP during a visit to Paris.


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