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Saudi Arabia pushes on with steep Qatar demands

Saudi foreign minister reiterates that list of 13-point demands to Qatar ‘to stop funding terrorism’ is non-negotiable.

Saudi Arabia has reiterated that its demands to Qatar to end the stand-off in the Gulf were “non-negotiable”.

Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi foreign minister, said on Twitter on Saturday that “demands on Qatar to stop funding terrorism are non-negotiable”.

“Restrictions on Qatar show zero tolerance for terrorism,” Jubeir said, claiming that Doha had failed to keep previous pledges of stopping “funding terrorism and interfering in other countries’ affairs”. Qatar denies all allegations.

Jubeir made a similar statement last week in Washington DC when asked by reporters if the 13 point list of demands that are widely denounced as “unrealistic” was non-negotiable.

“We made our point, we took our steps and it’s up to the Qataris to amend their behaviour and once they do, things will be worked out, but if they don’t they will remain isolated,” he said on Tuesday.

10-day deadline

The demands issued with a 10-day deadline last week include downgrading ties with Iran, shutting down Al Jazeera media network and Turkish military base in Doha.

The exact time of the deadline was not discussed but it is expected to become void on Monday.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed sanctions on the country on June 5, accusing it of supporting “terrorism”.

The four Arab countries have not provided any evidence for their claim, while Qatar has repeatedly rejected the allegation.

On Friday, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani asked members of UN’s Security Council to urge a Saudi-led bloc of states to lift their blockade on the Gulf country.

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