Meeting in Cairo to decide the next steps in the crisis which opposes them to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt, represented by their respective foreign ministers, rejected Doha’s response and pointed out they will hold another meeting in Bahrain to decide the next step.
The quartet on June 5 severed ties with Qatar over terrorism funding charges, cutting sea, ground and air links with the tiny Gulf country.
The bloc June 22 issued a list of 13 demands as conditions to end the diplomatic spat. Doha has remained defiant arguing that charges are ‘trumped’ and the list ‘unrealistic’ and ‘unenforceable’.
Qatari foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani who Monday handed the response to mediator Kuwait noted that list demands were made to be rejected after he argued that they seek to deprive the country of its sovereignty.
“It’s not about terrorism, it’s talking about shutting down the freedom of speech,” the foreign minister told reporters.
Saudi foreign minister Abdel al-Jubeir at the Cairo meeting said the blockades will remain in place until ‘Qatar changes its policies for the better’.
Host of the meeting, Sameh Shoukry noted that Qatar’s response was “not serious” and betrayed Qatar’s “failure” to realize the gravity of the situation.
“We hope wisdom will prevail and Qatar will eventually make the right decisions,” he added.
Last week, Emirati ambassador to Russia told The Guardian that if Qatar does not comply with the list, the bloc could move ahead with further sanctions including calling trading partners to choose between the bloc and the tiny emirate.