Saudi Arabia demands Qatar close Al Jazeera, sever ties with Iran

The list was drafted almost three weeks after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic relations and cut land, sea and air links to Qatar, alleging that the Gulf state sponsors terrorism.The list of 13 demands, seen by Associated Press, also wants Qatar to close a Turkish-operated military base, hand over terror suspects and shut down diplomatic posts in Iran.The demands have not been officially unveiled but Doha-based Al-Jazeera news channel said overnight Thursday they were handed to Qatar by Kuwait, which is mediating the dispute.It must also deliver individuals accused of terrorism in those four countries and stop funding groups that are designated as terrorist by the United States.With just days to decide, Qatar on Friday weighed an onerous list of demands by its neighbors as a way out of a regional crisis, and a top Emirati official warned the tiny country to brace for a long-term economic squeeze unless it is willing to acquiesce.- Stop interfering in the four countries’ affairs.Turkey has backed Qatar during the three-week-old crisis.Yemen and Egypt had announced earlier this month that they have joined Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to withdraw their diplomatic staff from Qatar. Of course, the goal in giving Qatar a list like this is to create a pretext for escalation when they reject it, as they seem nearly certain to do. Qatar’s government did not have any immediate response to the demands.But as the crisis enters its fifth week, the US State Department on Tuesday urged the states allied against Doha to make their demands public and detail their accusations against Qatar.But Al Jazeera is, because it provides a view of the outside world to ordinary Saudi citizens that’s not controlled by the Ministry of Keeping Everyone In Line.Qatar is yet to comment on the demands, although officials have previously said that they will not negotiate until the blockade is lifted.On Thursday, Turkey sent its first ship carrying food to Qatar and dispatched a small contingent of soldiers and armoured vehicles there, while President Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Saudi Arabia’s leaders on calming tension in the region.”There are no IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) elements in Qatar and the agreement with Turkey is a long-standing diplomatic agreement so we can not ask them to leave”.Pay reparations and compensation for loss of life and other, financial losses caused by Qatar’s policies in recent years.