Qatar responds to Gulf states' demands

Qatar responds to list of demands from countries that severed ties with it.

Ben Ariel ,

Flag of Qatar
Flag of Qatar

Qatar on Monday responded to a list of demands from Saudi Arabia and its allies, a day after they agreed to give it another 48 hours to address their grievances, AFP reports.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed relations with Qatar last month over allegations that it supports terrorism. Qatar denies the charges.

They later delivered 13 demands to ending the crisis, including shutting the Al-Jazeera network, downgrading diplomatic ties with Iran and closing a Turkish military base.

The four countries had announced in the early hours of Monday they were pushing back the deadline for Qatar to agree to the 13 demands.

Details of Qatar's response were not immediately available, but a Gulf official told AFP that Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani had delivered it during a short visit to Kuwait, which is acting as a mediator in the crisis.

Sheikh Mohammed had earlier said the list of demands was "made to be rejected" and on Monday British lawyers for Qatar denounced the demands as "an affront to international law".

"They are reminiscent of the extreme and punitive conduct of 'bully' states that have historically resulted in war," said the lawyers.

In the evening, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir expressed hopes for a "positive response to be able to resolve the crisis".

Qatar's reply would be "examined with precision", Jubeir was quoted by AFP as having told a news conference with German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel in the city of Jeddah.

The crisis is believed to have started after the Qatar News Agency on May 24 published comments attributed to Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, in which he allegedly described Iran as an "Islamic power", criticized U.S. President Donald Trump's policy towards Tehran and claimed his country’s relations with Israel were good.

Qatar immediately dismissed the remarks and said the website of its news agency was hacked. Later, it accused "neighboring countries" which cut ties with it of being behind the hacking.