No retreat on demands to Qatar: Boycotting Arab nations

Ahram Online , Sunday 30 Jul 2017

Foreign ministers of four Arab nations issued a joint statement after their meeting in Bahrain on Sunday, reaffirming their determination to ensure Qatar's compliance with their demands

Qatar boycotting FMs
File Photo: Foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain during a quadrilateral meeting over the Qatari crisis (Photo Courtesy of Egypt foreign ministry)

The foreign ministers of four Arab nations – Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE – said on Sunday that they will continue their boycott of Qatar and will not retreat on their demands, while stressing they would be ready for dialogue with the Gulf country if their demands are met.

At a joint press conference in the Bahraini capital of Manama on Sunday, Bahrain's Foreign Minister Khaled bin Khalifa read out a joint statement asserting that the four nations will not backtrack on their 13 demands.

"The four countries have expressed their readiness for dialogue with Qatar on the condition that Qatar announces its sincere willingness to stop supporting and financing terrorism and extremism and spreading hate speech and incitement, while committing to non-interference in other countries' domestic affairs, as well as carrying out the 13 fair demands that would ensure the general welfare and stability of the region and the world," the statement read.

The four boycotting countries also said that the measures taken against Qatar are considered an act of national sovereignty and are in compliance with international law.

Last month, the four countries cut ties and trade links with the oil-rich Gulf state over its alleged support for terrorist groups and its relationship with Iran.

Qatar denies supporting terrorists and has defended its close ties with Iran.

In their joint statement on Sunday, the four countries highlighted the principles announced earlier this month in Cairo, namely: a commitment to combating terrorism; stopping incitement and hateful rhetoric; full compliance with two agreements signed in Riyadh in 2013 and 2014 that outline how Qatar should end its row with the Gulf states; conforming to agreements reached during the Arab Islamic American Summit held in Riyadh in May; and non-interference in the affairs of other Arab countries or international efforts to fight terrorism.

At the meeting in Manama, the foreign ministers discussed the latest developments in the Qatari crisis, including regional and international discussions on the issue. They affirmed their close and continued coordination to support the national security of Arab states and eliminate terrorism in order to ensure security and stability in the region, according to the joint statement.

During Sunday's press conference, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said his country dismisses claims from Qatar that it's citizens will not be allowed into Saudi Arabia to peform pilgrimage.

Al-Jubeir said Qatar was seeking to "politicize" the pilgrimage season, adding that Qatari citizens are welcome to visit Muslim holy sites in Saudi Arabia.

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