Faced with a set of demands, Qatar insisted that it can indefinitely survive the economic and diplomatic steps on Friday and its neighboring countries have taken to try to pressure it into compliance, even a top Emirati official warned the small country to brace economic squeeze for a long term.
Qatar said after 10 days that was given to make a decision and after that it was reviewing the specific concessions demanded of the Persian Gulf nation, which include Al-Jazeera and cut ties to Muslim Brotherhood. While, The Qatari officials did not shift from their previous requirement that they would not sit down with Saudi Arabia and the Arab nations to negotiate to end up the crisis.
Qatari Ambassador said to the US Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani and the Associated Press,” I can assure you that our situation today is very comfortable and Qatar could continue forever like that with no problems.”
All sides seemed to be settling in for a potentially protracted crisis as the United States stepped back to take any central mediating role. While the Qatar neighbors insisted their list of demands which include 13 point, was their bottom line for negotiations.
If Qatar refuses to observe the deadline that the Arab countries signaled then they will continue to restrict its access to sea land and air routes as economic pressure mounts on Qatar.
Emirati Ambassador to the US Yousef al-Otaiba said in an interview, ” the controlling measures that have been taken are there to stay until there is a long term solution to the issue, however, there is no military element to this.”
Qatar’s neighbor urged to come up with reasonable and actionable demands, the US seeks its the distance from the crisis after the Arab countries issued a list which was included with several provisions. Qatar had declared it could not accept. The Qatar ultimatum was quickly rejected by ally, Turkey and blasted an assault on speech by Al-Jazeera, Qataris broadcast that the gas rich country neighbors are demanding be shut down.
The Egyptians , the Emiratis and the Bahrainis amount to a call for a sweeping overhaul of Qatar’s foreign policy and natural gas funded to influence the peddling with in the region. Qatar would force to bring its policies in line with the regional vision of Saudi Arabia, which is the Middle East’s biggest economy and gatekeeper of Qatar’s only land border.
Basically, this reflects an attempt from these countries to vanquish free media and undermine our jurisdiction, the Qatari envoy, Al Thani said, “They are trying to impose their views on how the issues need to be dealt with in the Middle East. They are bullies.”
Their demands also include closing the news outlets including Al-Jazeera and its affiliates. curbing diplomatic relations with Iran and severing all ties with Islamist groups included with the Muslim Brotherhood. The United Arab Emirates said the list was deliberated to be private. A copy from one of the countries involved in the dispute was obtained by AP.
Earlier this month, the four countries cut ties with Qatar, over the allegations that it funds terrorism. Qatar forcefully denies funding or supporting of extremism but they acknowledge that members of some extremist groups is allowed by them such as Hamas being allowed to live in Qatar after arguing that encouraging dialogue is key to resolving global disputes.
Qatar’s neighbors move has left it under a de facto blockade. Although after the crisis erupted the residents made a run on the supermarket and since the situation has calmed Qatar as secured alternative sources of imported food from Turkey and any where else.
Fawaz Gerges, a Middle East expert at the London School of Economics said, “The four states can afford to wait, but Qatar cannot.” The political stability of the ruling family in Qatar could be threaten by this crises for the long term if it last long.
Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State has tried to mediate and called the Arab nations to limit themselves to reasonable and actionable demands That call appeared to be roundly ignored and it was the Kuwaitis who offered to mediate and delivered the list to Qatar, on Thursday.
Otaiba said,” This Arab issue requires an Arab solution for it and That’s why the Kuwaitis will take the lead for the negotiation.”
The US said it’s fine. A spokesman Sean Spicer, at the White House called it a family issue among Arab states and refuses to say whether the new demands were legitimate or not.
He said, ” This is something that they want and should work out for themselves.”
The head of Al-Jazeera’s English language service said that the network remained committed to its broadcasts network.
He added “Any call to close down Al-Jazeera is nothing but an attempt to snout a voice of democracy in the region and suppress freedom of expression.”
On Friday, Qatar Petroleum acknowledged, Emphasizing on the increasing seriousness of the crisis that some critically important employees may have been asked to postpone trips abroad for operational reasons due to the embargo. It described the move as a very limited measure that could take place in any oil and gas operating company to ensure uninterrupted supplies to customers.
Demand of Qatar’s neighbors:
- Curb diplomatic ties with Iran and limit trade and commerce.
- Stop funding news outlets including Al-Araby, Arabi21, Middle East Eye and Al-Jadeed.
- Hand over terrorist figures also the individuals from the four countries.
- Stop all funding for groups designated by foreign countries as terrorists.