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Demands made by four Arab states not 'realistic', says Qatar


Demands made by four Arab states not 'realistic', says Qatar
Qatar says that the list, presented by four Arab states imposing a boycott on it, was not reasonable or actionable, even though the small but wealthy Gulf country said that it is reviewing the list of demands.
"We are reviewing these demands out of respect for ... regional security and there will be an official response from our ministry of foreign affairs," Sheikh Saif al-Thani, the director of Qatar's government communications office, said in a statement.
An ultimatum to Doha to close Al Jazeera, curb ties with Iran, shut a Turkish military base and pay reparations among other demands, were among the demand issues by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, which imposed a boycott on Qatar.
Production of a list of grievances that was "reasonable and actionable" was recently urged by the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson upon Saudi Arabia and the other countries, the statement said.
"This list does not satisfy that criteria," it said.
The request from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain that Turkey abandons its military base in Qatar was disregarded by turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik who spoke to his country's NTV broadcaster.
"The strengthening of the Turkish base would be a positive step in terms of the Gulf's security," Isik said, as reported by Reuters. "Re-evaluating the base agreement with Qatar is not on our agenda."

Exports of food to Qatar had tripled since the economic blockade was imposed, said the Turkish Customs and Trade Minister Bulent Tufenkci earlier this week according to media reports.
Meanwhile, mixed messages on the Gulf diplomatic crisis are being sent out by the U.S.
Question about "were they about long-simmering grievances between and among the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries" or whether the move was really about Qatar's funding of terrorist groups, was asked by U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert earlier this week.
Nauert added that the U.S. was "mystified that the Gulf states have not released to the public nor to the Qataris the details about the claims that they are making toward Qatar."
Alluding in a tweet to the state's alleged funding of "Radical Ideology", U.S. President Donald Trump has taken a hard line on Qatar.
However, by saying that he hoped that demands presented by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain would be "reasonable and actionable," U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in a statement, struck a more balanced tone a day after Nauert.
"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 under way to bring this to a conclusion," Tillerson added.

In Qatar, there is an 11,000-man strong military base of the U.S. And expected to visit Washington next week is the Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani.
The U.K.'s Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement Friday that, "The current tensions in the Gulf must be allayed for the sake of regional stability."
He added that the Gulf states must "find a way of de-escalating the situation and lifting the current embargo and restrictions, which are having a real impact on the every lives of people in the region."

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