Gulf crisis: Arab nations say talks possible, but no concessions

A map of Qatar is seen in this picture illustration June 5, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration

Abu Dhabi, [United Arab Emirates]: The four Arab countries – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt – leading an embargo against Qatar are ready to talk, but will not back down from their demands, the quartet’s foreign ministers said in a joint press conference in Manama, Bahrain.

“Dialogue doesn’t mean there are concessions,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said, CNN reports.

The four countries also rejected charges about Saudi Arabia’s handling of Qatari travel for Hajj, scheduled to start August 30 this year.

All 13 demands, which the quartet had put, including shutting down Qatar’s al Jazeera TV network and severing ties with Iran, remain put.

The quartet added negotiations are possible if Qatar shows “real intention” to stop supporting terrorism and interfering in neighboring countries.

Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa said none of the demands were dropped.

“It has to be black or white,” Al-Jubeir said, saying Qatar either funds terrorism or it doesn’t.

The Gulf diplomatic crisis began after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt snapped its diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of financing extremist groups.

However, Qatar rejected these allegations and termed the actions by Gulf member countries of isolating it diplomatically as “unjustified”.


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