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04 July 2017, 12:33 | Violet Powell
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Qatar's top diplomat delivered a response Monday to a list of demands made by Saudi Arabia and its allies involved in a prolonged diplomatic dispute with Qatar after extending a deadline to comply by 48 hours.
The diplomatic crisis came 2 weeks after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt blocked several Qatari media outlets over comments allegedly made by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Al-Hamad Al-Thani.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt severed commercial links with Qatar nearly a month ago, saying they were isolating the sheikhdom over what they see as its tolerant attitude toward Iran and support for terrorist groups.
The list of 13 demands includes the closure of the influential Al Jazeera television network and the severance of all ties with Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. "We are ready to face the consequences", Al Thani said Saturday in Rome, where he met with his Italian counterpart.
On Wednesday, officials from the four countries will meet in Egypt to discuss additional steps.
"If the Qatari rulers insist on rejecting the demands of the four countries and decide to escalate the situation and scramble for countries with ambitions in the region such as Turkey and Iran, we hope our Sudanese brothers will take a clear stance", he said.
Qatar says it is interested in negotiating a fair and just solution to "any legitimate issues" of concern to fellow member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which groups Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE.
The three Gulf countries and their ally, the egyptian had broken off diplomatic relations with Qatar on June 5, and imposed sanctions.
Kuwait's military commander requested the deadline delay to provided more time to mediate the dispute, the Associated Press reported.
On June 23, a list of demands prepared by Arab countries had been handed over to Qatar through Kuwait with a deadline of ten days.
The President also underscored that unity in the region was critical to accomplishing the Riyadh Summit's goals of defeating terrorism and promoting regional stability. The United Arab Emirates have suggested that there will be immediate moves to permanently isolate the Qataris.
Qatar's foreign minister has already said that Doha would not meet the demands, saying the list "was meant to be rejected".
Qatar has called the conditions impossible and urged for their revision.
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