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US unsure about Qatar difficult demands

by adminV
Qatar. Photo: BBC
Some demands set by four Arab states on Qatar in return for
lifting sanctions will be “difficult to meet”, United States
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says.
However, Mr Tillerson said the proposals provided a basis
for dialogue leading to a solution of the crisis.
On Saturday, Qatar’s foreign minister rejected the list of
13 conditions imposed by Saudi Arabia and its allies, Egypt, the UAE and
Bahrain.

They accuse Qatar of backing terrorism – a charge it denies,
BBC reported.
Qatar has been under unprecedented diplomatic and economic
sanctions for more than two weeks, with Iran and Turkey increasingly supplying
it with food and other goods.
The four countries also want Qatar to reduce its ties with
Iran and close a Turkish military base, setting a deadline on Friday of 10
days.
Among other things, the fellow Gulf states have demanded the
closure of Al Jazeera TV, which is funded by the Qatari government.
Mr Tillerson said Qatar was assessing the demands and
stressed there were “significant areas which provide a basis for ongoing
dialogue leading to resolution”.
He urged the countries to sit together to stop terrorism and
counter extremism.
“A lowering of rhetoric would also help ease the
tension,” Mr Tillerson said.
After the demands were made on Friday, White House spokesman
Sean Spicer said the dispute was “a family issue” that the countries
should work out together.
On Saturday, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin
Abdulrahman al-Thani, quoted by Al Jazeera, said: “The US secretary of
state recently called upon the blockading nations to produce a list of
grievances that was ‘reasonable and actionable’.
“The British foreign secretary asked that the demands
be ‘measured and realistic.’ This list does not satisfy that [sic] criteria.”
He said the demands were proof that the sanctions had
“nothing to do with combating terrorism… [but] limiting Qatar’s
sovereignty, and outsourcing our foreign policy”.
Al Jazeera accused them of trying to silence freedom of
expression, adding: “We assert our right to practise our journalism
professionally without bowing to pressure from any government or
authority.”

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