Gulf Crisis: Saudi Arabia, allies cling to demands, Qatar rejects them as unrealistic

Saudi Foreign Minister Tuesday said Qatar needs to comply with the demands submitted to it before the sea, air and land blockades are lifted, underscoring that the demands are non-negotiable and that Doha knows what to do.

Adel Jubeir, who was on a visit to Washington, rejected calls urging for reconsidering some demands deemed unrealistic.

“Our demands on Qatar are non-negotiable. It’s now up to Qatar to end its support for extremism and terrorism,” Jubeir twitted.

Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt Friday handed Qatar, through Kuwait, a list of 13 harsh conditions to be fulfilled within 10 days before they lift the air, sea and land embargo they imposed on the tiny emirate three weeks ago after they severed ties with Doha.

The bloc accuses Qatar of sponsoring terrorism; an accusation rejected by the Qatari government.

The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who has been trying to mediate the crisis between the US Gulf allies on Sunday indicated that some of the requests made by the bloc would be “very difficult for Qatar to meet”. He however pointedly noted that “there are significant areas, which provide a basis for ongoing dialogue leading to resolution”.

Also visiting Washington Tuesday, Qatar’s top diplomat Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani met with Tillerson and hit back Jubeir’s comments saying the demands Qatar received are not realistic and lack bases, reports say.

Doha deems the demands infringe on its sovereignty.

“The demands must be realistic and enforceable and otherwise are unacceptable,” Al Jazeera quoted the Qatari Foreign Minister as saying.

“We agree with Washington that the demands should be reasonable.”

German Foreign Minister, Sigmar Gabriel on Monday chided the Saudi-led demands arguing that they are “very provocative”.

Speaking at a European Council on Foreign Relations meeting in Berlin, Gabriel further noted that the 10-day ultimatum threatens Qatar’s sovereignty.

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