Thursday, 19 July, 2018

Qatar accuses Saudi Arabia of 'politicising' Hajj over pilgrim restrictions

Christy Curtis | 31 July, 2017, 01:28

Kuwait, acting as a mediator in the crisis, handed over to Doha the ultimatum of the four Arab states with 13 demands, including the requests to severe Qatar's relations with Iran, close Turkey's military base in Qatar and shut down the Al Jazeera TV channel, as well as to end support for the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist organization banned in Russian Federation.

"We express our readiness for a dialogue with Qatar if it confirms the cancellation of terrorism support", Khalifa said at a joint press conference in the capital of Bahrain, Manama.

"We can not shrink [the list] down", Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, said.

This comes after the leaders of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and others countries made a decision to cut ties with Qatar.

He blasted Iran for trying to exert influence by benefitting from the situation in the Gulf.

Bahrain's Foreign Minister stated that countries blocking Qatar are ready for dialogue with Doha if the Qatari authorities confirm the end of support for terrorism.

Diplomatic efforts led by Kuwait and involving the United States and Turkey have failed to end the row, which has affected travel and communications between Qatar and the four countries and led to harsh verbal exchanges in the media.

They include the closure of news giant Al-Jazeera and reducing ties with Iran.

The four states have cut air and sea links with Qatar and sanctioned dozens of groups and individuals.

For its part, Qatar has strongly denied the charges, while rejecting the the quartet's demands, citing it would not negotiate on issues related to its sovereignty.

They were created amid signs of easing of the Gulf standoff following the visit to the region by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson earlier the month. The Qatari foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, said on 4 July that, "the list is unrealistic and is not actionable".

Egypt last week accused Qatar of adopting a "pro-terrorist" policy that violated UN Security Council resolutions and described it as "shameful" that the 15-member body has not held Qatar accountable.

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