Qatar’s ultimatum deadline comes to a close
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- Qatar could face further sanctions by Arab states as a deadline to accept a series of demands from its Gulf neighbours passes on Sunday night.
- Qatari leaders have effectively rejected the 13 demands tabled 10 days ago by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain.
- Qatar’s foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, said on Saturday that the demands to shut down al-Jazeera, close a Turkish military base and cut relations with Iran had been framed to be rejected.
- The UAE foreign affairs minister, Anwar Gargash, has played down suggestions of a military intervention. “The alternative is not escalation but parting ways,” he said, suggesting forcing Qatar out of the six-member GCC is at present the most likely outcome.
- The western-backed body was formed in 1981, in the wake of Iran’s Islamic revolution and the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war, by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain.