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DIPLOMATIC ROW: Arab states give Qatar additional 48 hours to accept demands

04 July 2017, 12:30 | Nellie George


Saudi Arabia

The four Arab countries has later announced in a joint statement an extension of the deadline by 48 hours in response to the request of Kuwait.

Tillerson says Saudi Arabia is set to present Qatar with a list of demands, which he hopes "will be reasonable and actionable".

"Everyone is aware that these demands are meant to infringe the sovereignty of the state of Qatar", he said at a news conference in Rome.

Qatar's Foreign Minister Mohamed Bin Abdel-Rahman Al Thani arrived in Kuwait on Monday to deliver an official response to the demands.

A Palestinian farmer has donated a house to Al-Jazeera in show of solidarity for the Qatari broadcaster, which Saudi Arabia and its allies have demanded be shut down.

Al-Arabiya TV channel early on July 3 said the agreement to extend the deadline came in response to a request by the Kuwaiti emir, who is acting as a mediator in a dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and others.

The content of the letter and the four boycotting countries' next moves will be discussed Wednesday when their respective leaders are expected to meet in Cairo.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt - followed by a handful of other Muslim countries - abruptly cut off ties on 5 June over Doha's alleged funding of organisations considered terror groups by its neighbours and other meddling in foreign affairs. The allegation is rejected by Doha.

The UAE ambassador to Russia, Omar Ghobash, has previously said that Qatar could face fresh sanctions if it does not comply with the demands.

Trump spoke individually with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani about the contentious relationship between the Middle East nations.

Doha had been asked to shut leading news channel Al Jazeera, sever relations with Iran, stop the establishment of a military base by Turkey in Qatar and cutting military cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member.

The demands include a Turkish military base in Qatar and shutting the Al Jazeera Pan-Arab television network, which Doha also rejected.

Trump reiterates the next day that financing for terrorism must stop.

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