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Arab nations extend deadline for Qatar to meet demands

Monday, July 03, 2017 - 01:15

Saudi Arabia and three allies accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism have agreed to a request by Kuwait to extend by 48 hours Sunday's deadline for Doha to comply. Grace Lee reports.

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An intense ultimatum in the Middle East put on ice, for now. A Saudi-led coalition extending Qatar's Sunday deadline to accept a list of demands or get hit by additional sanctions. They've accused Doha of supporting terrorism and allying with regional rival Iran, charges that Qatar denies. The 48-hour extension was requested by Kuwait, it's been been acting as a mediator between the two sides. Saudi Arabia and its allies first issued the demands last month after severing diplomatic ties with Qatar. Doha fired back over the weekend, saying the ultimatum isn't meant to tackle terrorism but to challenge its national sovereignty. "This list of demands, made to be rejected. It's not made to be accepted or not made to be negotiated. The state of Qatar instead of rejecting it as a principle, we are willing to engage in, providing the proper condition for further dialogue," said Qatar Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani. The list includes downgrading ties with Iran, closing a Turkish air base, and even shutting down the Al Jazeera satellite channel. The Arab coalition says the demands are not up for negotiation. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with the Qatari foreign minister last week, and has called for both sides in the dispute to exercise restraint. Top officials from Saudi Arabia and its allies will meet in Cairo on Wednesday to follow up on their demands.

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Arab nations extend deadline for Qatar to meet demands

Monday, July 03, 2017 - 01:15