External Affairs

Four Arab States Vow New Measures Against Qatar, Withdraw Initial Demands

Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir (2-L), UAE foreign minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan (L), Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry (2-R), and Bahraini foreign minister Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa (R) meet to discuss the diplomatic situation with Qatar, in Cairo, Egypt, July 5, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Khaled Elfiqi/Pool

Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir (2-L), UAE foreign minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan (L), Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry (2-R), and Bahraini foreign minister Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa (R) meet to discuss the diplomatic situation with Qatar, in Cairo, Egypt, July 5, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Khaled Elfiqi/Pool

Cairo: The four Arab states leading the boycott against Qatar said late on Thursday that Doha’s refusal of their demands to resolve a Gulf diplomatic crisis is proof of its links to terror groups and that they would enact new measures against it.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain released a joint statement carried by the countries’ state media saying their initial list of 13 demands was now void and pledging new political, economic and legal steps against Qatar.

The Qatari government sabotaged diplomatic efforts to solve the rift, the four states said, and its refusal affirmed its continuing sabotage of the region’s stability and security.

Any measures taken by the four states would be aimed at the Qatari government but not its people, they said, without elaborating on when the new steps would be announced or what they would entail.

Foreign ministers from the four states convened in Cairo the day before after the expiry of a ten-day deadline for their demands to be met. They condemned the tiny Gulf nation’s response as “negative” and lacking in content.

Since last month, the countries have cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar, which they accuse of supporting terrorism and allying with regional foe Iran. Doha denies the charges.

Among their demands were orders for Qatar to curtail its support for the Muslim Brotherhood, shut down the pan-Arab al Jazeera TV channel, close a Turkish military base in Doha and downgrade its ties with Iran.

(Reuters)