UAE accuses Qatar of leaking demands, foiling mediation

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The United Arab Emirates on Friday accused Qatar of derailing mediation efforts by leaking the list of demands sent by his country and the three other Arab states that cut ties with Doha over its alleged support for terrorism.

Qatar’s emir “must realise that the solution to his crisis is not with Tehran, Beirut or Ankara, or Western capitals and the media, but [a solution] is through the return of confidence in him by his neighbours,” UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, wrote on Twitter.

“Qatar leaking demands and concerns of its neighbors & Egypt either attempt to undermine serious mediation or yet another sign of callous policy,” wrote Gargash in a string of tweets on his official account.

He warned that “leakage will further exasperate and prolong the Qatar crisis.”

 

 

Kuwait has handed Qatar a list of demands by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, the Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera reported earlier Friday.

Kuwait said the list has not been sanctioned by either Qatar or Kuwait, which has been trying to mediate between the two sides.

Gargash argued that the “crisis is real” and is being ignited by the “confused” administration of Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

“Sometimes, divorce is better,” Gargash wrote.

The Qatari emir’s role in providing “funding, a media and political platform” to serve “the agenda of extremism cannot be accepted,” he said.

 

 

Al Jazeera Media Network is owned and funded by the Qatari royal family.

The network, especially the Arabic-language channel, has repeatedly angered Arab leaders since its establishment in 1996, shaking up a broadcasting world until then dominated by government mouthpieces.

One of the biggest disputes was in 2002, when Saudi Arabia withdrew its ambassador to Doha to protest at Al Jazeera’s “negative” coverage of Saudi politics.

In recent years, critics have argued that it is strongly supportive of Islamists, especially Egypt’s now-banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Meanwhile, Turkish Defence Minister Fikri Isik attacked the demands presented to Qatar, which reportedly includes shutting down a Turkish military base in the small Gulf country.

“I have not seen this request formally yet, but it might mean intervention in bilateral relations,” he said, according to private broadcaster NTV.

“I say that the Turkish base in Qatar is for the training of Qatari soldiers, for the security of Qatar and the region. Nobody should be bothered by this.

“There is no such consideration to bring this agreement back to the table,” Isik added.

On June 5, the four countries severed diplomatic ties and transportation links with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

Doha has repeatedly denied the accusations.

The four countries have not made their demands public yet.

Later in June, several African countries cut relations with Qatar and others downgraded ties.

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged the Arab countries involved in a diplomatic spat with Qatar to present their demands.

“Our role has been to encourage the parties to get their issues on the table, clearly articulated, so that those issues can be addressed and some resolution process can get underway to bring this to a conclusion,” he said.

“Our desire is for unity within the Gulf,” he added.(dpa/NAN)

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