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Qatar Stock Index Plunges as Diplomatic Deadline Nears | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A view of Doha, Qatar. (AFP)

Qatar’s stock market fell sharply on Sunday as a deadline for Doha to accept a number of political demands by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates loomed.

The deadline is on Sunday and there has been no indication that the diplomatic crisis would be resolved.

The Qatari stock index sank as much as 3.1 percent in thin trade, bringing its losses to 11.9 percent since June 5, when the four countries cut diplomatic and trade ties, accusing Doha of backing terrorism.

Stocks tumbled across the board on Sunday, with 41 lower and only one higher. Qatar National Bank, the largest listed lender in the Gulf, lost 3.1 percent.

Doha faces possible further sanctions as a deadline expires.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said the demands were made to be rejected, adding that the Arab ultimatum was aimed not at tackling terrorism but at curtailing his country’s sovereignty.

But he told reporters in Rome that Doha remained ready to sit down and discuss the grievances raised by its Arab neighbors.

The countries have threatened further sanctions against Qatar if it does not comply with their list of 13 demands which were presented to Doha by Kuwaiti mediators 10 days ago.

They include limiting diplomatic ties to Iran, shutting down the state-funded Al-Jazeera satellite news network and other media outlets, and severing ties to all terrorist organizations, including the Muslim Brotherhood and Lebanon’s “Hezbollah”.

They also demanded Qatar expel the Turkish troops now stationed in the country, as well as pay reparations and submit to auditing.