Decision on Al Jazeera's Future Given 48-Hour Extension

Posted July 04, 2017

Qatar's response to the demands was handed by the foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani to Kuwaiti emir Sheikh Sabah, as worldwide pressure continued for the crisis to be resolved.

With the deadline expiring today, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt made a decision to give Doha an extension to respond positively to their demands.

They issued a 13-point list of demands, including that Doha should curb diplomatic ties to Iran, sever ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and shut down the Al-Jazeera news network.

Saudi Foreign Miniter Adel a-Jubeir said last week that the list of demands was "non-negotiable".

"There is no fear. We are ready to face the consequences", Al Thani said Saturday in Rome, where he met with his Italian counterpart.

Qatari officials say the demands are so strict that the four countries never seriously intended them as a negotiating position and see them as being aimed at hobbling Doha's sovereignty.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has urged Arab nations involved in a diplomatic row with Qatar to reach an agreement that stops the financing of terrorism across the region.

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A separate statement carried on the official Qatar News Agency said the emir's discussion with Trump touched on the need to fight terrorism and extremism in all its forms and sources, and was a chance for the countries to review their bilateral strategic relations.

In June, Saudi Arabia led its neighbours Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, in cutting ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism, a charge that Doha denies.

The president is leaving on Wednesday for a European trip that will take him to Poland and Germany, where he will attend a G-20 Summit that will include a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Qatar risks further sanctions and deepening the crisis in the Gulf after missing a deadline to comply with demands set by Saudi Arabia and its regional allies.

Meanwhile, foreign ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain are scheduled to meet in Cairo Wednesday to discuss the Qatari crisis, an Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have agreed to grant Qatar a two-day extension to respond to their list of demands, the Saudi Press Agency has said.