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Blockading countries send list of 13 demands to Qatar

26 Juin 2017

The list said Qatar owed an unspecified sum in compensation and demanded the Gulf country to cut all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups including Hezbollah, al-Qaida and the self-styled "Islamic State". According to the document seen by AP, Qatar is being asked to shut down diplomatic posts in Iran, expel any members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard and only conduct trade with Iran that complies with U.S. sanctions. They are also asking Qatar to reduce ties with Iran and close a Turkish military base - all within 10 days.

Doha has repeatedly said it was prepared to negotiate concessions if provided with a list of complaints, but only if accompanied by evidence and so long as it did not risk Qatar's independence. The United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, on June 21, had said that he hopes the demand laid out by the bloc would be "reasonable and actionable".

"The base in Qatar is both a Turkish base and one that will preserve the security of Qatar and the region", Defence Minister Fikri Işık told broadcaster NTV.

In addition, in less than 10 days, Qatar was forced to suspend every single diplomatic and military tie with Iran and close a Turkish military base.

— Stop all contacts with the political opposition in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain.

Qatar denies that it supports groups such as IS and al Qaeda, although it recognises that members of groups such as Hamas are present in its territory. The dispute plunged Qatar into chaos and ignited the biggest diplomatic crisis in the Gulf since the 1991 war against Iraq.

The list also calls for the closure of Middle East Eye, which it says Qatar backs "directly or indirectly".

Iran's Rouhani says siege of Qatar 'unacceptable'
The United States says some demands on Qatar (KUH'-tur) by its Mideast neighbors "will be very hard to meet". That presumably would mean Qatar would have to close down Al-Jazeera's English-language affiliate.

This follows a blockade on all routes between Qatar and some of it's Gulf neighbours such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain.

The establishment of the Turkish military base in Qatar is stipulated by the agreement on strengthening bilateral cooperation signed by Turkey and Qatar in 2014.

The countries issued a 10-day deadline for the demands to be met, saying it would become invalid if gas-rich Qatar does not respond in that time.

The effect of Qatar failing to comply with the demands wasn't stated in the document.

"The recent joint statement issued by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE regarding a "terror finance watch list" once again reinforces baseless allegations that hold no foundation in fact", the Qatari government said in a statement.

The boycotting countries also demanded that Qatar terminates its relations with terrorist groups and stop supporting and funding them.

The Qatari minister also said that the residents of the country were united behind their emir, and added that Al-Jazeera and foreign policy are included in its internal affairs, and are not open to negotiation.