© REUTERS/ Khaled Elfiqi/Pool
The Saudi-led bloc of Arab states which also includes Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, has announced that negotiations with Qatar have broken down because of Doha’s failure to meet their demands. As a result, the four states have withdrawn their list of demands and have announced their intention to punish Qatar.
The four Arab states called Doha’s refusal to meet their demands proof of Qatar’s links to Islamist and terrorist groups. As a result, they will take political, economic and legal measures against the Qatari government, the bloc said in a joint statement carried by state media in the member countries.
Doha intentionally sabotaged diplomatic efforts to heal the rift between the Arab states, the statement said, just as their policies continue to sabotage efforts to bring security and stability to the region.
“The obstinacy of the Qatari government, its refusal to accept demands made by the four Arab countries bear witness to its ties with terrorist organizations, its desire to destroy and undermine stability and security in the Persian Gulf and in the Middle East,” read the statement, as reported by Egypt’s MENA state news agency.
The 13 demands were issued June 23. The document called for Qatar to end all diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia’s chief rival Iran, to sever all ties with “terrorist groups” such as Al Qaeda, Daesh, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups; to shut down Al-Jazeera and other Qatari news agencies; to cease cooperation with Turkish armed forces; to consent to monthly audits for 10 years to see if they are keeping their word; and numerous other demands.
Qatar was given 10 days to comply with the demands, and later a 48-hour extension. The Qatari government denies the validity of all the demands and has called them an “affront” to Qatari sovereignty.
The four Arab nations are leading a blockade and embargo of Qatar that has now entered its fifth week.