Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Al-Jazeera manager denounces Gulf demands for its shutdown

Saudi King names young son Mohammed bin Salman crown prince strips eldest of title & post Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
Kenny Thornton | 24 June, 2017, 07:32

But on Monday, Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said Qatar would not negotiate with the four states unless they lifted their measures against Doha.

The demands were presented by Kuwait, which is trying to mediate in the crisis since Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain severed ties with Qatar early this month and imposed sanctions on the island Gulf nation.

A Qatari government spokesman said Doha was reviewing the list of demands and that a formal response would be made by the foreign ministry and delivered to Kuwait, but added that the demands were not reasonable or actionable.

The United Arab Emirates, one of four Arab countries embroiled in a political dispute with Qatar, said on Friday it would not back down if Doha does not engage with demands that include requiring it to curb ties with Iran. Gulf states on June 5, 2017 cut diplomatic ties with neighbouring Qatar and kicked it out of a military coalition, less than a month after US President Donald Trump visited the region to cement ties with powerhouse Saudi Arabia. "We can not just have demands such as 'The Qataris know what we want from them, they have to stop this or that, they have to be monitored by a foreign monitoring mechanism, ' " he said. "There are no IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) elements in Qatar and the agreement with Turkey is a long-standing diplomatic agreement so we can not ask them to leave".

Talking to a local TV channel, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik said he was not aware of the demand and that it amounted to an interference in their relations.

The United States has already called for an earlier end to the crisis, citing it damages its counterterrorism operations against IS terrorists in Syria and Iraq as Qatar hosts a major us military base in the region.

Qatar has only 300,000 citizens enjoying the riches produced by the world's largest exports of liquefied natural gas.

He also found it odd for neighbouring countries to ask Qatar to close down the pan-Arabic Al Jazeera channel which had brought a whiff of fresh air to the stifling Arab media scene.

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The Sheikh stressed that the list is now under review, but only "out of respect for our brothers in Kuwait", whose emissary delivered the Saudi-led demands Friday. For the following 10 years, Qatar would be monitored annually for compliance.

"Can they really, truly expel members of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, and will that be enough?" says Cook. Under the 2015 nuclear deal, nuclear-related sanctions on Iran were eased but other sanctions remain in place. It sent its first ship carrying food aid to Qatar and dispatched a small contingent of soldiers and armoured vehicles there on Thursday, while President Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Saudi Arabia's leaders on calming tension in the region.

Turkey has sided with Qatar in the dispute and its parliament has ratified legislation allowing the deployment of Turkish troops to the base.

He also brought to mind the fact that every Gulf country now trades with Iran, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), who are Iran's largest Gulf trading partner.

Al Jazeera Media Network is owned and funded by the Qatari royal family.

"It is for Qatar to decide the level of bilateral relations with Iran or any other country".

United States officials said the goal of the Russians appeared to be creation of a rift among the USA and its allies. "It conveyed a threat rather than reconciliation if one looked at the 10- day ultimatum given to Qatar to comply with all of the demands".

"At this point we are left with one simple question: Were the actions really about their concerns regarding Qatar's alleged support for terrorism, or were they about the long-simmering grievances between and among the GCC countries?"

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