While insisting that their Persian Gulf neighbor shutter Al-Jazeera, cut back diplomatic ties to Iran and close down a Turkish military base in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries that have cut ties to Qatar issued a steep list of demands Thursday to end the crisis.
The countries also demand that Qatar sever all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and with other groups including Hezbollah, al-Qaida and the Islamic State group – in a 13-point list — presented to the Qataris by Kuwait, which is helping mediate the crisis. From one of the countries involved in the dispute, the Associated Press obtained a copy of the list in Arabic.
Over allegations the Persian Gulf country funds terrorism — an accusation that President Donald Trump has echoed, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut ties to Qatar this month. To comply with the demands, which include paying an unspecified sum in compensation, those countries have now given Qatar a period of 10 days.
In what the countries describe as an effort to keep Qatar from meddling in their internal affairs, Qatar must refuse to naturalize citizens from the four countries and expel those currently in Qatar, according to the list.
Qatar provide detailed information about opposition figures that Qatar has funded, ostensibly in Saudi Arabia and the other nations; stop funding any extremist entities that are designated as terrorist groups by the U.S.; and hand over all individuals who are wanted by those four countries for terrorism; are also among the demands of the group of Middle East countries rallying against Qatar.
There was no known immediate response from the Qatar’s government on the demand list. Tghere were also no word from the United States. Qatar’s neighbors should provide a list of demands that was “reasonable and actionable”, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had insisted earlier this week.
Qatar’s neighbors voiced loud concerns about Qatar’s relationship with Iran, the Shiite-led country that is a regional foe for Saudi Arabia and other Sunni-led nations, even though Qatar’s neighbors have focused their grievances on alleged Qatari support for extremism.
Qatar should only conduct trade and commerce with Iran that complies with U.S. sanctions, kick out from Qatar any members of the Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard, and shut down diplomatic posts in Iran, says the Iran provisions in the document. Nuclear-related sanctions on Iran were eased but other sanctions remain in place under the 2015 nuclear deal.
Qatar must also shut down all affiliates of Al-Jazeera, the Doha-based satellite broadcaster, is also included in the demands. Qatar would have to close down Al-Jazeera’s English-language affiliate, that is what experts are assuming given the demand. Supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and fomenting unrest in the region is what Qatar’s neighbors accuse Al-Jazeera of.
After the demands are fulfilled and it takes effect, it will be audited once a month for the first year, and then once per quarter in the second year, if Qatar agrees to comply, the list asserts. Qatar would be monitored annually for compliance for the following 10 years,
(Adapted from CNBC)