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The ‘Quartet’ Studies Appropriate Measures to Qatar’s Response | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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In this photo released by Saudi Press Agency, SPA, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, left, talks to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince and Deputy Commander in Chief of the Emirates Armed Forces in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, June 2, 2017. (AP)

Dammam – The four Arab countries boycotting Qatar have complied with the demand of Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al Sabah to grant Doha a 48-hour deadline to give its response to the list of 13 demands, which include cutting all ties with terrorist organizations and ending interference in other countries’ internal affairs.

In the wake of the deadline extension, US President Donald Trump on Monday spoke separately with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to discuss what the White House described as “concerns about the ongoing dispute.”

In a statement issued on Monday, the White House said: “President Trump addressed his concerns about the ongoing dispute between Qatar and some of its Gulf and Arab neighbors. He reiterated the importance of stopping terrorist financing and discrediting extremist ideology.”

“The President also underscored that unity in the region is critical to accomplishing the Riyadh Summit’s goals of defeating terrorism and promoting regional stability,” the statement noted, adding that Trump believed that “the overriding objective of his initiative is the cessation of funding for terrorism”.

Meanwhile, the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain will convene in Cairo on Wednesday to follow up on developments regarding the stance towards Qatar, according to a statement by the Egyptian foreign ministry.

The Kuwaiti emir is expected to send his foreign minister to Jeddah to deliver Qatar’s response to King Salman.

Al-Sabah has met on Monday with Qatari Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, who handed him a written response from Sheikh Tamim to the list of 13 demands submitted last week by the four Arab countries.

In this context, observers believe that Doha would “disassemble the demands”, and push the concerned parties to negotiate over core issues, including a mechanism that guarantees the halting of financial flows to terrorist networks.

The observers added that the Qataris might submit a “general pledge” to stop supporting terrorist organizations, “without entering into embarrassing details on the political and legal levels.” They might also agree to oust a number of Muslim Brotherhood members from Doha, according to the same observers.

Sources closely monitoring the Gulf crisis noted that Qatar might agree to decrease the diplomatic representation with Iran, and would want to “freeze the Turkish military base on its territories.”

As for Al-Jazeera channel, which has been accused of becoming a platform for extremists, the sources said that the Qatari government might seek to entrench the channel, but would promise to stop airing controversial programs and adopt a policy that would be compliant with Gulf stances.