Saudi Arabia and allies extend deadline for Qatar to accept demands

Saudi Arabia and allies extend deadline for Qatar to accept demands
Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, left, holds the hand of Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha on June 7, 2017 during a visit to Doha. (KUNA via AP, File)
Updated 03 July 2017

Saudi Arabia and allies extend deadline for Qatar to accept demands

Saudi Arabia and allies extend deadline for Qatar to accept demands

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have agreed to extend by two days the deadline for Qatar to comply with their demands.
In a joint statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency early Monday, the four countries said they were extending the deadline, which expired Sunday, in response to a request by the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
The Kuwaiti ruler had informed the four countries that Doha had confirmed to him that it would send its official response to the list of claims against it on Monday.
Kuwait has been acting as a mediator after four countries severed diplomatic and travel ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism and being an ally of regional foe Iran.
Qatar has called the charges baseless and its foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, said the stiff demands — including closing Qatar-based al Jazeera TV and ejecting Turkish troops based there — were made to be rejected.
The countries have threatened further sanctions against Qatar if it does not comply with their list of 13 demands presented to Doha through Kuwait 10 days ago.
Egypt said on Sunday that foreign ministers from the four boycotting countries would meet in Cairo on Wednesday to discuss Qatar, without providing further details.
They have not specified what further sanctions they could impose on Doha, but commercial bankers in the region believe that Saudi, Emirati and Bahraini banks might receive official guidance to pull deposits and interbank loans from Qatar.
The US State Department, which is an ally of all countries involved, endorsed Kuwait’s role as a mediator and called for both sides in the dispute to exercise restraint.
(Additional input from Reuters)