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Qatar delivers response to Arab nation demands


brussels bureau

Qatar delivers response to Arab nation demands

Qatar’s foreign minister has arrived in Kuwait with a handwritten response to demands by four Arab nations.

Kuwait is acting as mediator in the crisis between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.

Delivery of the letter comes just hours after the Arab nations extended by 48 hours a deadline on Sunday for Qatar to meet their demands.

The contents of Qatar’s letter are not yet known.

Chris Doyle, Director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding, told Sky News: “It’s an extraordinary list of demands, because essentially it would mean that Qatar would become a vassal state of Saudi Arabia.

“It would surrender its foreign policy, it would surrender and close down its media stations – not just Al Jazeera – the entire network and other branches of its media output, and there’s simply no way that it’s going to do that.

“It’s not going to shut down, also, the Turkish (military) base in Qatar. I mean, other states in the region have such bases.”

On Monday Al Jazeera, based in Doha, responded on air to the demand that it be closed down.

Under the hashtag #DemandPressFreedom, the station broadcast a video message.

“To those who demand that Al Jazeera be shut down and that people’s right to the truth be suppressed, we too have demands,” said key Al Jazeera presenters and reporters.

“We demand journalists be able to do their jobs free from intimidation and threat.”

“We demand diversity of thought and opinion be cherished, not feared. We demand the public have access to unbiased information.”

Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt imposed diplomatic and economic sanctions on Qatar late last month.