Thursday, July 6, 2017
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain: Qatar's answers were not serious
Four Foreign ministers meet in Cairo. From left: the Saudi Adel al-Jubeir, UAE Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan,, Egyptian minister Sameh Shoukry, and the Bahraini Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa. (Reuters)
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain said in a joint statement on Wednesday that Qatar has displayed "complacency and a lack of seriousness" in response to the four countries’ demands that Qatar stop backing terrorism and interfering in the affairs of neighbouring countries.
The foreign ministers of the four countries met in Cairo on Wednesday to discuss the recent developments of the diplomatic situation with Qatar after receiving the Gulf country’s response to their list of demands.
Last month, the four countries cut ties and trade links with the tiny oil-rich state over Qatar’s alleged support of terrorist groups and its relationship with Iran.
Qatar denies supporting terrorists and has defended its ties with Iran.
Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry said at a press conference following the meeting that another meeting is set to take place in Bahrain soon to discuss the issue.
The deadline for Qatar to comply with a list of 13 demands by the four countries expired on Wednesday.
Shoukry told reporters at the press conference that Doha’s response to the demands was “negative” and failed to indicate that “Qatar is retreating from its policies.”
Shoukry said that Doha's response reflects a failure to realise the gravity of the situation or meet the concerns of the Arab countries involved in the dispute.
Shoukry added that Doha must adopt six principles to end the diplomatic crisis: a commitment to combating terrorism; stopping incitement and hateful rhetoric; full compliance with two agreements signed in Riyadh in 2013 and 2014 that outline how Qatar should end its row with the Gulf states; conforming to agreements reached during the Arab Islamic American Summit held in Riyadh in May; and non-interference in the affairs of other Arab countries or international efforts to fight terrorism.
US President Donald Trump stressed to Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in a phone call on Wednesday the need for “constructive negotiation” between Qatar and its Arab neighbors, the White House said. Trump also called on all "the countries to follow through on their commitments at the Riyadh summit to stop terrorist financing and discredit extremist ideology."