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Qatar delivers response to Arab nation demands

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By Seamus Kearney
Qatar delivers response to Arab nation demands

<p>Qatar’s foreign minister has arrived in Kuwait with a handwritten response to demands by four Arab nations.</p> <p>Kuwait is acting as mediator in the crisis between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>The contents of Qatar’s letter are not yet known.</p> <p>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. </p> <p>“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. </p> <p>“It’s not going to shut down, also, the Turkish (military) base in Qatar. I mean, other states in the region have such bases.”</p> <p>On Monday Al Jazeera, based in Doha, responded on air to the demand that it be closed down. </p> <p>Under the hashtag #DemandPressFreedom, the station broadcast a video message.</p> <p>“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. </p> <p>“We demand journalists be able to do their jobs free from intimidation and threat.”</p> <p>“We demand diversity of thought and opinion be cherished, not feared. We demand the public have access to unbiased information.” </p> <p>Saudi Arabia, <span class="caps">UAE</span>, Bahrain and Egypt imposed diplomatic and economic sanctions on Qatar late last month.</p>