UAE insists Qatar must shutdwon Al Jazeera

Elias Hubbard
June 26, 2017

"We are convinced this is nothing to do with fighting terrorism; they want to undermine our sovereignty", Meshal bin Hamad al-Thani, Qatar's ambassador to the U.S., told the FT this week.

Among the 13 requirements in the list sent by the Gulf nations, some of them require Qatar to shut the popular Al-Jazeera TV network, cut back diplomatic ties with Iran, sever relations with the Muslim Brotherhood and end Turkey's military presence in Qatar, according to two Western diplomats in the region familiar with the document.

Kuwait has handed Qatar a list of demands by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, the Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera reported earlier Friday.

The demands regarding Al Jazeera state that Qatar must also shut down all affiliates and other news outlets that Qatar funds, including Arabi21, Rassd, Al Araby Al Jadeed and Middle East Eye.

Qatar also has to hand over all individuals who are wanted by those four countries for terrorism and stop funding any extremist entities that are designated as terrorist groups.

The countries delivered a list of demands to end the embargo Thursday and gave Qatar 10 days to comply with the ultimatum.

-Curb diplomatic ties with Iran, and limit trade and commerce.

"Strengthening the Turkish base would be a positive step in terms of the Gulf's security", said Turkey's defence minister, Fikri Isik.

Al-Jazeera, one of the largest news organisations in the world, said that it "deplores" calls for it to be taken off air.

This follows a blockade on all routes between Qatar and some of it's Gulf neighbours such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain.

The four Arab nations also presented a list of demands, including the closure of the Turkish base, according to a copy obtained by The Associated Press.

"Qatar has been the target of a systematic incitement campaign that promoted outright lies, which indicates that there was a prior intent to harm the state", the statement said.

According to the list, the Doha government must immediately shut down the Turkish military base, which is now under construction there, and halt military cooperation with Turkey inside Qatar.

Under a Turkey-Qatar agreement, the former has agreed to set up a base, which it hastened after Saudi Arabia and its allies imposed an economic blockade on Qatar citing its support to terrorist organizations.

"We are mystified that the Gulf States have not released to the public nor to the Qataris the details about the claims that they are making toward Qatar", Nauert said on Tuesday.

Qatar must also formally declare all of these as "terrorist groups".

Consent to monthly audits for the first year after agreeing to the demands, then once per quarter during the second year.

Turkey has continued to support Qatar throughout the boycott, sending troops to the country, and Iran has sent food supplies.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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