KSA, allies to respond to Qatar's apparent rejection of demands 'in a timely manner'

A general view of the Qatari side of the Abu Samrah border crossing with Saudi Arabia, which has remained closed since Saudi Arabia and its allies cut all diplomatic ties with Qatar. (AFP file photo)
Updated 05 July 2017

KSA, allies to respond to Qatar's apparent rejection of demands 'in a timely manner'

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain have received Qatar’s response to their collective demands for restoring relations and that they “will respond to it in a timely manner,” the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said early Wednesday.
The Saudi foreign ministry also said on Twitter that Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir received from Kuwaiti State Minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Sabah the official Qatari response, which described as “unrealistic” the list of demands.
The four countries severed ties with Qatar on June 5 and later put forward a list of 13 demands, which included Doha ending support for the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, closing broadcaster Al-Jazeera, downgrading diplomatic ties with Iran and shutting down a Turkish military base in Qatar.
They gave Qatar a further 48 hours to meet their demands after an initial 10-day deadline expired Sunday, following a request from Kuwait, which is acting as mediator in the crisis.
“The four countries received the Qatari response through the state of Kuwait before the end of the extended period. And it will be responded to at the right time,” the Saudi foreign ministry tweeted.
Foreign ministers from the four countries are due to meet in Cairo, Egypt from 1100 GMT (1 p.m. Cairo time) Wednesday to discuss their next move.
Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, who handed the official response to Kuwait, said the list of demands “is unrealistic and is not actionable.”
“It’s not about terrorism, it’s talking about shutting down the freedom of speech,” he said.
Riyadh and its supporters have severed air, sea and ground links with Qatar, cutting off vital routes for imports including food.
They also ordered Qatari citizens to leave their territories and took various steps against Qatari firms and financial institutions.
On Tuesday, the heads of intelligence from the four boycotting countries held a meeting in Cairo, according to Egypt’s state news agency MENA.
MENA, citing “informed sources,” did not provide details of the meeting, which took place one day before foreign ministers from the four countries were due to meet to decide whether to continue sanctions they imposed on Qatar.
(With input from AFP and Reuters)


Lebanon records new coronavirus infection high with more than 100 cases

Updated 10 min 49 sec ago

Lebanon records new coronavirus infection high with more than 100 cases

  • Lebanon has recorded more than 2,000 infections and 36 deaths from the coronavirus

BEIRUT: A Lebanese waste management company is quarantining some 133 Syrian workers who tested positive for the coronavirus, the company manager said on Sunday, as Lebanon recorded a new daily high for infections.
Lebanon has recorded more than 2,000 infections and 36 deaths from the coronavirus since February.
“We are moving them to a place to quarantine them. We are separating those who are infected from those who aren’t ... we are waiting for more results,” RAMCO manager Walid BouSaad told Reuters.
Health minister Hamad Hassan said more than 100 cases had been recorded, with most of them at what he described as “a big cleaning company,” an apparent reference to RAMCO, which collects garbage across Lebanon.
“To reassure people, the source is known,” Hassan told broadcaster LBC. He added that up to 75% of the cases were symptom-free.
Hassan said 800 workers from the company in question needed to be tested, along with another 1,000 workers from two other companies with whom they were connected.
“The number will remain high this week,” he said.