Saudi Arabia’s list of demands is baseless and hence unacceptable, says Qatari FM

Saudi Arabia’s list of demands is baseless and hence unacceptable, says Qatari FM

QLReporter
By QLReporter

It is official. Qatar’s Foreign Minister HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani has rejected the list of 13 demands — made by four Arab countries that cut ties with Doha — saying it was unacceptable as they are not backed by evidence.

Speaking to Al Jazeera after meeting his US counterpart Rex Tillerson in Washington, Sheikh Mohamed said Doha agreed with the United States that they should push for a ‘rational’ solution to the major Gulf crisis, reported Gulf Times.

The comments by Sheikh Mohamed yesterday followed an earlier statement by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir who said there will be no negotiations over his country’s demand that Qatar stops supporting ‘terrorism’ — an allegation Doha strongly denies.

“What has been presented by the countries of the blockade are merely claims that aren’t proved by evidence and aren’t demands,” said Sheikh Mohamed.

“Negotiations require a real will by the other party and evidence to support its demands. The demands must be realistic and enforceable. Anything else is rejected. We agree with Washington that the demands should be rational,” he said.

The US, which urges a diplomatic solution to the crisis, has been pushing for a clear list of grievances that are ‘reasonable and actionable.’

Al Jazeera’s James Bays, reporting from Washington, DC, said that the Qatari government’s position that these demands could not be met by Doha was, in a way, also backed by Heather Nauert, the US State Department spokesperson, who told reporters that “some of them will be difficult for Qatar to incorporate and to try to adhere to”.

Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel appealed to all sides to hold direct talks to avoid a further escalation, and urged Iran to play a constructive role.

“The longer the crisis around Qatar continues, the deeper and stronger the lines of conflict will become,” Gabriel told reporters after a 90-minute meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamed Javad Zarif in Berlin.

“We hope that there soon can be direct discussion among all those involved because a further escalation will serve no one.”

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