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Saudi-Led Bloc Eases Up On Qatari Demands

Diplomats from the four Arab countries that are leading the boycott against Qatar have signaled that the Saudi-led bloc is no longer demanding that Qatar comply with a list of 13 demands that many analysts and politicians have said are too draconian for the tiny gas-rich nation to agree to meet.

Diplomats from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) told reporters at the UN on Tuesday that the four countries no longer want Qatar to comply with the 13 demands, but have come up with six broad principles which they want Qatar to sign up to, the New York Times reports. Speaking at a news conference convened by the UAE at its mission to the UN, the diplomats said that their so-called six broad principles include denying safe havens and financing to terrorists, combating terrorism and extremism, stopping incitement of hatred and violence, and refraining from interfering in the internal politics of other countries.

Less than two weeks ago, the four Arab states vowed to take new measures against their tiny gas-rich neighbor after Doha rejected in full the list of 13 ultimatums. On June 22, the four countries issued a list of 13 demands to Qatar, giving their isolated neighbor just 10 days to meet those demands, which included severing ties with Saudi archrival Iran, and shutting down the Al-Jazeera TV network. At the end of the 10-day deadline, the four countries gave their neighbor another 48 hours to meet those demands. Qatar did not.  

“Our aim is to reach a diplomatic solution,” the NYT quoted Saudi Arabia’s United Nations ambassador, Abdullah bin Yahya Almouallimi, as saying on Tuesday.  

Asked if compromise were possible, Almouallimi said that “of course we can compromise — but no compromise on the six principles.”

The UAE ambassador to the UN, Lana Nusseibeh, said that regardless of how things evolve, “we’re never going back to the status quo — that needs to be understood by the Qataris.”  

Related: U.S. May Halt Oil Imports From Venezuela

Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s Foreign Affairs Minister, told Bloomberg in an interview in London earlier this week:

“Weeks, months, as long as it will take them to realize that this is not a crisis that we are looking for a quick fix. This is a crisis that we want to get to the bottom of, and we want to take away Qatar’s huge, huge support for this extremism and terrorism that we’re seeing everywhere. We need a solution that will stick. We need a solution that’s long-term.”   

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Bill Simpson on July 19 2017 said:
    Well, I guess the invasion is off, then. We won't hear the frantic screams like, "Grab all the diamonds and Rolexes and run for the Gulfstream! Leave the bullion. It's too heavy."

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