No negotiations over Qatari demands: Saudi FM

Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir
Updated 28 June 2017
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No negotiations over Qatari demands: Saudi FM

JEDDAH/WASHINGTON: Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday there will be no negotiations over the demands made to Qatar to stop supporting terror, Al-Ekhbariya TV reported.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir was referring to a list of demands Qatar would need to fulfill to ease concerns of Arab states over the country’s role in terror funding.
Al-Jubeir reiterated Saudi Arabia's demands as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held talks with the Qatari foreign minister on the Gulf states crisis.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, who was also in Washington, was unbudging amid attempts by US and Kuwaiti diplomats to mediate the row which has left Qatar isolated under a trade and diplomatic embargo set by its Gulf Arab neighbors.
“Our demands on Qatar are non-negotiable. It’s now up to Qatar to end its support for extremism and terrorism,” Jubeir said via Twitter.
Riyadh has laid down a list of 13 demands for Qatar, included the closure of Al-Jazeera, a downgrade of diplomatic ties with Iran and the shutdown of a Turkish military base in the emirate.
Shortly after Jubeir’s comments, Tillerson met with Qatar’s top diplomat Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.
He was to meet later with Kuwait Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Sabah, who has sought to work resolve the standoff.
State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said talks would continue through the week.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain announced on June 5 they were suspending all ties with Qatar, accusing it of support for extremist groups — a claim Doha denies.
They have also closed their airspace to Qatari carriers and blocked the emirate’s only land border, a vital route for its food imports.
Qatar is home to the largest US base in the region, Al-Udeid. Bahrain is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet.
The US and Saudi militaries work closely together as well.
(With input from AFP)


King Salman welcomes Pakistan PM Imran Khan in Jeddah

Updated 30 min 11 sec ago
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King Salman welcomes Pakistan PM Imran Khan in Jeddah

JEDDAH: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan met with King Salman on Wednesday as part of his first state visit overseas.

During the talks, they reviewed the close relations between their two countries, the prospects for their development and strengthening in various fields, as well as the latest regional developments, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The meeting was attended by Prince Khalid Al Faisal, Advisor to the King, Prince of Makkah Region, Prince Mansour bin Mteb bin Abdulaziz and a number of other officials from both countries.

Khan arrived in the Kingdom on Tuesday for a visit expected to focus on bilateral ties, regional security and Pakistan's economic situation.

Earlier, the prime minister was received by the King at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah before the a luncheon was held in his honor.

He then met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who congratulated him on his election as prime minister.

"They reviewed the historical relations between the two brotherly countries and ways to enhance them," SPA said.

In an interview with Al Arabiya aired on Wednesday, Khan said Pakistan would always stand by Saudi Arabia, and that anyone who comes into power in the country would visit the Kingdom first.

“Saudi Arabia came to Pakistan's aid when it needed it," Khan said. 

Earlier on Wednesday, Khan performed Umrah in Makkah.

He then held a series of meetings, including with the Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih on Wednesday.

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Khan received Al-Falih at his residence in Jeddah to discuss ways of cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

He also held a meeting with the Secretary General of the Islamic Cooperation Organization (OIC) Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen

Khan, whose Tehreek-e-Insaf party won the July elections, is accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and other senior members of his cabinet.

On Tuesday, the former cricketer visited Madinah where he prayed at the Prophet's Mosque.