ibusinesslines.com February 21, 2018

Doha will reject Arab demands 'but ready for dialogue'

02 July 2017, 06:28 | Melissa Porter

Doha will reject Arab demands 'but ready for dialogue'

Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed the importance of diplomacy to end disputes around Qatar

Qatar will reject the demands issued by four Arab states to end the current diplomatic crisis, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdurrahman Al-Thani said on Saturday.

Speaking to reporters in Rome, Sheikh Mohammed said Doha remained ready to sit down and discuss the grievances raised by its Arab neighbors.

"This list of demands is to be rejected, not to be accepted".

According to media reports, demands include the closure of the Al Jazeera news channel, the downgrading of Qatar's ties with Iran, and the extradition of "terrorists" from the country. Officials say they are aimed at ending a rift that erupted last month over accusations that Qatar supports terrorism - charges it denies. It also said it does not fear any retaliatory measure that could follow its refusal to comply with the demands. "We are willing to engage in dialogue but under proper conditions", Sheikh Mohammed said. "We are not going to accept anything that infringes on our sovereignty or anything that is imposed on Qatar", he said.

The four countries have reportedly given Doha a 10-day deadline to meet their demands. "But as I have mentioned. there is an worldwide law that should not be violated and there is a border that should not be crossed".

During his visit in Rome, Al-Thani also held a meeting with his Italian counterpart Angelino Alfano. "There are many cards the neighboring countries still have and (are) yet to use against Qatar, should the latter continue to be stubborn in refusing to rationally deal with the crisis".

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, Egypt and several other nations abruptly announced that they were severing diplomatic ties and transportation links with Qatar, accusing it of financing terrorism and interfering in the internal affairs of other states.

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