Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain said in a joint statement on Wednesday that Qatar has displayed “complacency and a lack of seriousness” in response to the four countries’ demands that Qatar stop backing terrorism and interfering in the affairs of neighbouring countries. The foreign ministers of the four countries met in Cairo on Wednesday to discuss the recent developments of the diplomatic situation with Qatar after receiving the Gulf country’s response to their list of demands.
Last month, the four countries cut ties and trade links with the tiny oil-rich state over Qatar’s alleged support of terrorist groups and its relationship with Iran. Qatar denies supporting terrorists and has defended its close ties with Iran. Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry said at a press conference following the meeting that another meeting is set to take place in Bahrain soon to discuss the issue.
The deadline for Qatar to comply with a list of 13 demands by the four countries expired on Wednesday. Shoukry told reporters at the press conference that Doha’s response to the demands was “negative” and failed to indicate that “Qatar is retreating from its policies.”
Shoukry said that Doha’s response reflects a failure to realise the gravity of the situation or meet the concerns of the Arab countries involved in the dispute. Shoukry added that Doha must adopt six principles to end the diplomatic crisis: a commitment to combating terrorism; stopping incitement and hateful rhetoric; full compliance with two agreements signed in Riyadh in 2013 and 2014 that outline how Qatar should end its row with the Gulf states; conforming to agreements reached during the Arab Islamic American Summit held in Riyadh in May; and non-interference in the affairs of other Arab countries or international efforts to fight terrorism.
Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that Qatar was interested in “destruction, incitement, extremism and terrorism,” rather than in good neighbourly relations. Saudi FM Adel Al-Jubeir said that no benefit could result from Qatari cooperation with Iran, which he described as an isolated country. Following the Arab countries’ cutting of ties with Qatar, Iran declared that it is ready to provide the Gulf country with food supplies.
Al-Jubeir also said that Turkey is currently neutral in regards to the row between Qatar and the Arab countries, adding that he hopes this situation will not change. Following the eruption of the diplomatic conflict with Qatar, Turkey declared that it would provide Qatar with food supplies and would send extra soldiers to its military base in the Gulf state. The four Arab countries have demanded that Qatar shut down the Turkish military base in the country, which they consider a form of foreign interference in the region.
The Arab states issued the 13-point list of demands two weeks ago, giving Qatar 10 days to comply. The deadline was later extended by 48 hours at the request of Kuwait, which has been acting as a mediator since the beginning of the crisis.
Source : Egypt Daily News