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Al Jazeera hits back at Arab states' attempt to close it down

23 Juin 2017

- Cut ties to extremist organizations.

The four Arab countries have accused Qatar of funding terrorism, fomenting regional instability and cosying up to Iran. Revoke Qatari citizenship for existing nationals off those four countries if it violates those countries' laws.

"Any call to close to down or curtail Al-Jazeera is nothing but an attempt to muzzle a voice of democracy in the region and suppress freedom of expression", he said by phone.

And they have 10 days to comply.

The Arab nations cut ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting terrorism and destabilizing the region.

Qatar has been given 10 days to comply with the demands, which also include paying reparations and providing information on all opposition groups it supported, according to the document.

The Qatari government wasn't immediately available to comment.

"They are impossible to be met because they interfere in Qatar's foreign policy and Qatar considers its foreign policy a sovereign matter that is nonnegotiable, he said".

For much of the month, most major trade routes into Qatar have been closed by its neighbors - including Saudi Arabia, which occupies the peninsula nation's only overland border, through which it receives roughly 40 percent of its imports.

Isik said Turkey's presence in Qatar should be seen as a benefit for the whole Gulf.

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It also demands an unspecified sum of compensation from Qatar. The demands include cutting back Qatar's diplomatic ties to Iran.

If Qatar agrees, the list asserts that it will be audited monthly for the first year, and then quarterly in the second year. The U.S. issued that litmus test amid frustration at how long it was taking Saudi Arabia and others to formalize a list of demands, complicating U.S. efforts to bring about a resolution to the worst Gulf diplomatic crisis in years.

"The more that time goes by, the more doubt is raised about the actions taken by Saudi Arabia and the UAE", she added.

On Friday, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik tried to allay criticism of the Turkish base in Qatar and warned against intervention.

Ankara also sent a small contingent of soldiers and armored vehicles.

"I have not seen this request formally yet, but it might mean intervention in bilateral relations", he said, according to private broadcaster NTV. Al Jazeera sued Egypt in January 2016, saying many of its journalists were harassed after Morsi's overthrow.

On Thursday evening, the state-run Emeriti channels Abu Dhabi TV and Emarat TV aired footage of the security officer admitting to his alleged role in a plot to slander the leadership of the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Al-Thani reportedly hailed Iran as an "Islamic power" and criticized US President Donald Trump's policy towards Tehran on a news website. But he said Qatar does not accept "foreign dictations".

Speaking to the BBC World Service, Jamal al-Shayyal, a senior journalist and spokesman for the award-winning network, said: "The fact that the claims are being levelled by countries who are directly involved either in the creation or funding of [extremist] organisations is beyond ironic".

Al Jazeera hits back at Arab states' attempt to close it down