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Saudi demands unacceptable, not backed by proof

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed al Jubeir said on Tuesday that there would be no negotiations over the list of 13 demands by the kingdom and other Arab states for Qatar to stop supporting terrorism.Heather Nauert, the State Department spokesperson, told reporters that “some of [the demands] will be hard for Qatar to incorporate and to try to adhere to”.Riyadh had laid down a list of 13 demands for Qatar, included the closure of Al-Jazeera, a downgrade of diplomatic ties with Iran and the shutdown of a Turkish military base in the emirate. And in a readout of a conversation with Qatar’s emir, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said that “pressure, threats and sanctions” will not help resolve the crisis, adding that the “siege of Qatar is not acceptable for us”.”We consider these demands are against worldwide law”, Erdogan was quoted as saying in Istanbul by the state-run Anadolu Agency.Turkey’s military deployment in Qatar aims to promote regional security and should not be seen as a move against any country, according to a Foreign Ministry spokesman on Sunday, Anadolu reported.Tillerson said Qatar was assessing the demands and stressed there were “significant areas which provide a basis for ongoing dialogue leading to resolution”.The four Arab governments delivered the demands to Qatar through Kuwait on Thursday, more than two weeks after severing all ties with the emirate and imposing an embargo.A top Republican lawmaker on Monday threatened to block U.S. arms sales to members of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council including Saudi Arabia until their escalating rift with Qatar is resolved.He called for Qatar and the other Arab countries to “sit together” to work through the list.All of this leaves the U.S.in a hard spot – torn between crucial allies who are no closer to an agreement despite weeks of public pressure, and some mixed messages, from the administration.Qatar has said it will not comply with the demands ahead of the 3 July deadline, and it is not clear what the Saudi response will be when it passes.A United States arms embargo would directly affect recent weapons orders by both Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Qatar has previously also said the demands were aimed at curbing its sovereignty.The four countries have given Qatar 10 days to accept the demands.Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held another round of meetings today in an effort to end the crisis among its Gulf allies but was met with a continued impasse.