Gulf crisis: Arab states extend deadline for Qatar to accept demands

Gulf crisis: Arab states extend deadline for Qatar to accept demands

The request for an extension came from the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, who has been acting as a mediator in the Gulf crisis.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman al-Thani arrived in Kuwait on Monday to deliver a formal response in the form of a letter from the Emir of Qatar to the Emir of Kuwait.

Speaking from Washington, Saudi foreign minister al Jubeir pointed out that Qatar's isolation is "painful but necessary".

In early June, the four nations cut diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar for political reasons.

Al Jazeera, a Doha-funded broadcaster, has also condemned the demands and has said they are "nothing but an attempt to silence the freedom of expression in the region". At the same time, Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed said that Qatar will not shut down the Turkish base here, nor will he ban Al Jazeera.

"There is no fear".

Meanwhile, the Saudi Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Ambassador Abdullah bin Yahya Al-Mu'allemi stressed that Qatar insists on destabilizing Saudi and regional security in addition to supporting terrorism that threatens the whole world.

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On 5 June the four countries severed diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing it of supporting Iran and terrorism, which Doha has denied.

The extension of the deadline comes shortly after three Gulf leaders had separate conversations with US President Donald Trump on handling the situation.

"We presented our list of demands to Qatar and clarified our position and took our decision, and the list of demands is non-negotiable and must be fully enforced", he added.

Foreign ministers of nations boycotting Qatar will meet in Cairo on Wednesday to discuss their next steps.

Saudi Arabia's official state news agency, citing an official source, said the Kingdom had chose to break relations with Qatar "proceeding from the exercise of its sovereign right guaranteed by global law and the protection of national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism".

The four states stated that if Qatar does not comply with the demands, the crisis with Doha will continue and they will impose additional sanctions.

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