Qatar says Saudi-led ultimatum unreasonable

Cheryl Sanders
June 25, 2017

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Sunday that it is inappropriate of some Arab countries to demand Qatar to shutdown Turkey's military base in the country, responding to the latest list of demands issued by the states boycotting the Gulf emirate over alleged funding of terrorism.

Quantifying the degree of Qatar's "interference" in foreign and domestic policies of the four countries is also virtually impossible, with the quagmire the Gulf and Middle East nations have created amongst themselves as a result of infighting and fomenting terrorism and secular conflict in the region. However, immediate reaction from Qatar indicates that the state wants lifting the curbs first as a pre-condition for any dialogue aimed at resolving the on-going crisis in the Gulf.

The four Arab governments delivered the demands to Qatar through Kuwait last Thursday, more than two weeks after severing all ties with the emirate and imposing an embargo. Qatar's foreign affair ministry said it was "studying" the list, "in order to prepare an appropriate response".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday welcomed Qatar's dismissal of a sweeping list of demands from Saudi Arabia and its allies in an escalating crisis and said the ultimatum was "against global law".

Immediately shut down the Turkish military base, which is now under construction, and halt military cooperation with Turkey inside of Qatar.

Stop all means of funding for individuals, groups or organisations that have been designated as terrorists by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, US and other countries. While Trump might gather that this and the supposedly proposed formal economic ties between the Persian Gulf and "Israel" would send a positive message to other Muslim countries to follow in their footsteps, there's a chance that it could backfire by generating such enormous public discontent among its desired global audience that the nobody else ends up emulating these plans. US President Donald Trump had supported the action, but Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis had called for mediation and a quick resolution of the dispute. "And infringe upon our sovereignty & punish Qatar for its independence", he said further.

"It would be wiser that (Qatar) deal seriously with the demands and concerns of the neighbours or a divorce will take place", he wrote on Twitter.

Qatar has long denied that it supports extremist groups and funds terrorism. He says "we see an attack against a state's sovereignty rights".

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Friday that any conditions placed on Qatar should be "measured and realistic".

While Saudi Arabia did not indicate what would happen if Qatar ignored the demands, but there are fears that Saudi Arabia could become even more confrontational.

Saudi Arabia itself has issued this ultimatum at a time when the Gulf, and the Middle East, are unsettled and feeling the influence of Iran in many areas, including Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, although Iran's fingers have made inroads into other nations as well. Among them are - lowering the diplomatic relations with Iran, closing down the Al-Jazeera television channel, stopping military cooperation with Turkey and closing of the Turkish military base in the country.

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