West Asia situation

Saudi-led bloc agrees to Kuwait’s request, gives Qatar 48 more hours to accept demands

Qatar had been given time till Sunday midnight to comply with the list of 13 demands made by four Arab states.

Saudi Arabia and its allies on Monday agreed to Kuwait’s request to extend by 48 hours the deadline set for Qatar to comply with a set of 13 demands to lift the de facto blockade on the country, AFP reported. Qatar had been given time till Sunday midnight to agree to the demands.

The move came after Kuwaiti emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah (pictured above) made the request to the four Arab states, according to a joint statement issued by the official Saudi SPA news agency. Al-Sabah is acting as the mediator in the Gulf crisis.

Kuwait had received a response from Qatar to the list of 13 demands, but it did not reveal whether Qatar had rejected the ultimatum as was widely expected, state news agency KUNA said on Monday. On Saturday, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani had rejected the 13 demands made by Saudi Arabia and its allies, saying they were never meant to be accepted.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt had severed diplomatic relations with Qatar accusing it of backing terrorism.The four Arab countries had placed a list of demands before the country on June 22.

Among its demands, they 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.

Qatar had rejected the demands, calling them “neither reasonable nor actionable”.

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