Saudi Arabia and three other Arab states boycotting Qatar have slammed the rich nation a list of 13 tough terms to end their blockade.
Top on the list are demands that the Qataris close the global Al Jazeera television and reduce ties to their regional adversary Iran, Reuters reported, quoting an official of one of the four countries.
The demands aimed at ending the worst Gulf Arab crisis in years appear designed to quash a two decade-old foreign policy in which Qatar has punched well above its weight, striding the stage as a peace broker, often in conflicts in Muslim lands.
Doha’s independent-minded approach, including a dovish line on Iran and support for Islamist groups, in particular the Muslim Brotherhood, has incensed some of its neighbors who see political Islamism as a threat to their dynastic rule.
The list, compiled by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain, which cut economic, diplomatic and travel ties to Doha on June 5, also demands the closing of a Turkish military base in Qatar, the official told Reuters.
Qatar must also announce it is severing ties with terrorist, ideological and sectarian organizations including the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Jabhat Fateh al Sham, formerly al Qaeda’s branch in Syria, he said, and surrender all designated terrorists on its territory.
The four Arab countries accuse Qatar of funding terrorism, fomenting regional instability and cozying up to revolutionary theocracy Iran. Qatar has denied the accusations.
Qatari officials did not reply immediately to requests for comment. But on Monday, Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said Qatar would not negotiate with the four states unless they lifted their measures against Doha.
The countries give Doha 10 days to comply, failing which the list becomes “void”, the official said without elaborating, suggesting the offer to end the dispute in return for the 13 steps would no longer be on the table.
The demands, handed to Qatar by mediator Kuwait also require that Qatar stop interfering in the four countries’ domestic and foreign affairs and stop a practice of giving Qatari nationality to citizens of the four countries, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Qatar must pay reparations to these countries for any damage or costs incurred over the past few years because of Qatari policies, he added.
Any resulting agreement to comply with the demands will be monitored, with monthly reports in the first year, then every three months the next year, then annually for 10 years, the official said without elaborating. (NAN)