JEDDAH: Qatar’s rejection of the demands by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt to end the Gulf’s biggest diplomatic crisis only shows its intention to continue with its policy aimed at destabilizing security in the region, the Anti-Terror Quartet (ATQ) said on Friday.
“The Qatari government's intransigence and rejection of the demands … reflects the extent to which (Qatar) is linked to terrorism and its continued attempt to sabotage, undermine security and stability in the Gulf and the region, and deliberately harm the interests of the peoples of the region, including the fraternal people of Qatar,” the group said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
It said the Qatari government “has thwarted all efforts and diplomatic good offices to resolve the crisis, a fact that confirm its intransigence and rejection of any settlement, reflecting its intention to continue its policy aimed at destabilizing security of the region.”
The group thanked Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait, for his efforts to resolve the crisis with the Qatari government.
Unfortunately, the group said, all such well-meaning efforts were made useless by the Qatari government’s “lack of tact and respect for the diplomatic principles” toward Kuwait’ when it “leaked the list of demands”. The leak was meant to thwart the efforts of Kuwait to find a solution to the dispute, officials from the four countries have said.
The four countries severed on June 5 all diplomatic ties with Qatar over allegations that the emirate bankrolled Islamist extremists and had close ties with regional troublemaker Iran.
On June 23, they issued a 13-point list of demands, including the shutdown of broadcast giant Al-Jazeera, as a prerequisite to lift the sanctions, which include the closure of Qatar’s only land border and suspension of all flights to and from the country.
In its response that it handed via the Emir of Kuwait, Doha rejected the demands as “unrealistic” and “were made to be rejected.”
The group on Friday asserted that their demands have been made “as a result of the hostile Qatari government practices, and its continued violation of pledges, particularly the Riyadh Agreement signed by Qatar in 2013 and the Supplementary Agreement and its Executive Mechanism, in 2014.”
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis reaffirmed America’s strategic security partnership with Qatar, the Pentagon said. It was also announced that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to Kuwait — the key mediator in the crisis — on July 10 to discuss the row.