Gulf diplomatic crisis: In a new twist to the ongoing crisis in West Asia, four Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, have sent Doha a list of 13 demands to end the boycott, an official of one of the four countries told Reuters. The four countries –Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain — are boycotting Qatar over its alleged support for terrorism. The list of 13 demands is the price Qatar may have to pay for ending the worst Gulf Arab crisis in several years. The four countries have given Doha 10 days to comply with their demands. In case Doha fails to accept the demand, the list would become ‘void’, the official told the news agency. The demands were handed over to Qatar by Kuwait, which is mediating in the dispute.
The four Arab countries have accused Qatar of funding terrorism, fomenting regional instability and cosying up to Iran. Qatar has, however, denied the allegations. US President Donald Trump has also taken a tough stance on Qatar, accusing the country of being a “high level” sponsor of terrorism. But Trump has also offered help to the disputing parties to resolve their differences. Amidst the crisis, Turkey has backed Qatar during the three-week-old crisis.
Here is the list of 13 demands made by four Arab countries, according to Associated Press:
1.Shut down Al-Jazeera and its affiliate stations.
2. Curb ties with Iran, close some Qatari offices there. Kick members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard out of Qatar and cut off any joint military cooperation with Iran. Only trade and commerce with Iran that complies with U.S. and international sanctions will be permitted.
3. Sever all ties to “terrorist organizations” including the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic State group, al-Qaida, and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Formally declare those entities as terrorist groups.
4. Shut down news outlets that Qatar funds, directly and indirectly, including Arabi21, Rassd, Al Arabiya Al-Jadeed and Middle East Eye.
5. Immediately terminate the Turkish military presence currently in Qatar and end any joint military cooperation with Turkey inside of Qatar.
6. Stop all means of funding for individuals, groups or organizations that have been designated as terrorists by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, the United States, Canada and other countries.
7. Hand over “terrorist figures” and wanted individuals from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain to their countries of origin. Freeze their assets, and provide any desired information about their residency, movements and finances.
8. End interference in sovereign countries’ internal affairs. Stop granting citizenship to people who hold citizenship in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. Revoke Qatari citizenship for existing nationals off those four countries if it violates those countries’ laws.
9. Stop all contacts with the political opposition in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. Hand over all files detailing Qatar’s prior contacts with and support for those opposition groups.
10. Pay reparations and compensation for loss of life and other, financial losses caused by Qatar’s policies in recent years. The sum will be determined in coordination with Qatar.
11. Align itself with the other Gulf and Arab countries militarily, politically, socially and economically, as well as on economic matters, in line with an agreement reached with Saudi Arabia in 2014.
12. Agree to all the demands within 10 days of it being submitted to Qatar, or the list becomes invalid. The document doesn’t specify what the countries will do if Qatar refuses to comply.
13. Consent to monthly audits for the first year after agreeing to the demands, then once per quarter during the second year. For the following 10 years, Qatar would be monitored annually for compliance.