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Qatar dismisses list of demands submitted by four Arab countries

24 Juin 2017

The list of demands has not been officially confirmed.

Doha was given 10 days to meet the ultimatum.

The Arab countries issued a list of demands that included several provisions Qatar had already declared it could or would not accept.

Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash told reporters in Dubai that his country and its allies do not want "regime change" in Qatar, but a "behavioral change".

In a statement, Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed Al Thani, director of the Qatari government's communications office, said the list of demands was neither reasonable nor actionable, but an attempt to suppress free media and freedom of speech.

Asked whether Qatar felt pressure to resolve the crisis quickly, he said: "Not at all".

The demands are apparently aimed at dismantling Qatar's two-decade-old interventionist foreign policy, which has incensed its Arab neighbors.

David Hearst, Middle East Eye's editor-in-chief, said his organisation is not funded by Qatar - or any other state or group - and is here to stay.

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Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt want Qatar to meet the 13-point ultimatum in return for an end to a almost three-week-old diplomatic and trade "blockade" of the emirate. "This crisis could threaten the political stability of the ruling family in Qatar in the long term if it lasts". That call appeared to have been roundly ignored, and it was the Kuwaitis - who also offered to mediate - who delivered the list Thursday to Qatar. "That's why the Kuwaitis will take the lead in the negotiation". "We are for them to settle between themselves all the problems".

"Our position is the conflict between the Arab countries and Doha should be settled diplomatically with respect for concerns and on the basis of the balance of interests", the source said.

Underscoring the growing seriousness of the crisis, state-run Qatar Petroleum acknowledged Friday that some critically important employees "may have been asked to postpone" trips overseas "for operational reasons" due to the embargo.

Relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran have strained since Riyadh severed diplomatic ties with Tehran early previous year after its diplomatic missions in Tehran and Mashhad came under mob attacks following the execution of a Saudi Shia cleric.

The countries that imposed the sanctions accuse Qatar of funding terrorism, fomenting regional unrest and drawing too close to their enemy Iran.

- Stop all means of funding for groups or people designated by foreign countries as terrorists.

-Pay an unspecified sum in reparations.

As a measure to lower the terrorist threat, Qatar is expected to stop naturalization of citizens from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrein and Egypt, as well as to give out all the criminals, those countries are searching for.