Four Arab Nations Say Qatar Not Serious In Dealing With Their Demands

The foreign ministers of the four Arab countries leading this diplomatic row against Qatar said they will continue coordination.

The four countries cut diplomatic and transportation links with Qatar early June, accusing the tiny Gulf state of supporting terrorism - a charge that Doha denies.

He described Doha's response as a "position that reflects a failure to realise the gravity of the situation" and hoped that "wisdom will prevail and Qatar will eventually make the right decisions".

Speaking after a meeting of foreign ministers in Cairo on 6 July, Egypt's foreign minister Sameh Shoukry said Doha's response was "negative and lacked any content".

"While additional punitive measures are likely if Qatar maintains its current policy, the anti-Doha coalition appears sensitive to the narrative of the dispute and the need to appear flexible and patient", said Ayham Kamel, director of the Middle East & North Africa at Eurasia Group in London.

"The boycott will remain", Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said at the same news conference in the Egyptian capital.

Qatar's foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, criticized the four Arab nations for trying to isolate Qatar "under the banner of fighting terrorism".

Under pressure from its neighbors, Qatar is planning to produce much more gas - the mainstay of its economy.

From Cairo they called upon the worldwide community to join them in taking measures against Qatar.

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The next steps will be based on a six-point joint statement issued by the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt after a meeting in Cairo on Wednesday.

As The Two-Way reported, on June 22 the countries gave Qatar 10 days to comply with a list of demands including shutting down the Doha-based Al-Jazeera news network, severing ties with "terrorist organizations" and cutting ties with Iran.

The seven-member coalition has also demanded that Qatar close a Turkish base and downgrade its relations with Iran.

Yet, the Saudi-led coalition has decided not to introduce further sanctions against Qatar for the time being.

They did not elaborate on what steps they could take, though a major credit rating agency warned it had changed Qatar's economic outlook to negative over the turmoil.

Amid the Cairo meeting, US President Donald Trump yesterday spoke with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi about the Qatar crisis, calling for talks to resolve the dispute, said the White House.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain said they are sorry that Qatar responded negatively to their 13 demands. He said Kuwait's mediation, backed by the USA, had already achieved a lot.

The foreign affairs think tank called for a public inquiry into the role of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations.

  • Rita Burton