international politics

Cut ties with Iran, hand over extremists and shut down Al Jazeera: Saudi’s list of demands to Qatar

Kuwait, which is mediating the crisis, handed over the 13-point list prepared by the Arab countries to Doha.

Saudi Arabia and other West Asian countries on Thursday placed a list of demands before Qatar, nearly three weeks after they first cut diplomatic ties with the kingdom, AP reported on Friday. The countries insisted that Qatar shut down state-funded broadcaster Al Jazeera and other news networks, sever relations with the Muslim Brotherhood and also cut all ties with Iran, which has geo-political differences with Saudi Arabia.

Kuwait, which is mediating the crisis, presented the 13-point list prepared by the Arab countries to Qatar. The list also calls for an end to Turkey’s military presence in Qatar.

According to the list, Doha must refuse to naturalise citizens from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and expel those currently living there. It also demands that the kingdom hand over all individuals wanted by these four countries for terrorism; stop funding any extremist entities designated as terrorist groups by the United States; and provide detailed information about opposition figures that Qatar has funded. Broadly, the list demands that Qatar ally itself with the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

If Qatar agrees to comply with the demands, the list will be audited once a month for the first year and then once per quarter in the second year. For the next 10 years, Qatar would be monitored annually for compliance. The countries also gave Qatar only ten days to fulfill their demands, including payment of an unspecified sum in compensation.

Qatar government officials have not responded to the demands yet. Doha has said that it will not negotiate until the Arab countries lift their economic blockade. Qatar has also denied that it supports Islamic State and Al Qaeda terrorism.

On Wednesday, the United States had warned Saudi Arabia and the UAE, stating that no list of demands had been presented to Qatar since their decision to cut ties with the country. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had also said that the demands must be “reasonable and actionable.”

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