dglobalnews.com Gulf diplomatic crisis: Qatar bans its citizens, residents from leaving the country
Published: Fri, July 07, 2017
Global Media | By Cecelia Webb

Gulf diplomatic crisis: Qatar bans its citizens, residents from leaving the country

Gulf diplomatic crisis: Qatar bans its citizens, residents from leaving the country

Qatar also hosts the largest U.S. military base in the region and has declared itself as an U.S. ally, but Doha is accused of not only tolerating, but encouraging private funding of terrorist organizations, such as the Muslim Brotherhood and former Iraq Al Qaida group AQI, today known as ISIS.

The Arab countries have demanded Qatar curtail its support for the Muslim Brotherhood, shut down the pan-Arab al Jazeera TV channel, close down a Turkish base and downgrade its ties with regional arch-rival Iran.

Shukri also accused Qatar of failing "to realize the gravity of the situation", AP reported.

He said the demand shows "a lack of respect toward us and Qatar".

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have voiced disappointment at Qatar's rejection of their ultimatum, but are so far refraining from further sanctions on the state. The deadline was extended by 48 hours on Sunday at the request of Kuwait, which is mediating in the crisis, and Qatar handed in the response on Monday.

The four Arab states stopped short of announcing new sanctions but Jubeir said they would "take steps at the appropriate time".

Qatari officials have repeatedly said the demands are so draconian that they suspect the four countries never seriously meant to negotiate them, and were instead seeing to hobble Doha's sovereignty.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut off ties with Qatar on 5 June, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

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The quartet's foreign ministers met in Cairo on Wednesday evening and issued a press statement saying that the quartet's stance against the tiny Gulf state rested on six principles, focusing primarily on combating extremism and non-intervention.

"Qatar has not taken counter-measures, has not considered how it can attack the other countries in a similar way, economically or politically, but from the first minute has tried to ask for dialogue", Gabriel said. They need "more time to figure out measures that would increase the pressure on Qatar without violating worldwide law or engendering a negative response from the global community".

In addition, Doha excludes the possibility of closing the Turkish military base, arguing that the Charter of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCCC) does not prohibit such cooperation with other countries.

Existing sanctions, including a land and air blockade, would remain in place, the statement said.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi spoke with US President Donald Trump by telephone about Qatar, Sisi's office said on Wednesday.

Ahead of the meeting to discuss Qatar's response, U.S. president Donald Trump spoke with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah El Sisi and "called on all parties to negotiate constructively to resolve the dispute", the White House said.

The White House said Trump reiterated the need for all countries "to stop terrorist financing and discredit extremist ideology".

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