I have been writing a lot on the Saudi-Qatari mash up recently.
Does the Arab League still exist?
Where is the mediation by the League?
Questions for another post no doubt.
The Saudis have released their demands for this situation to be over…..
Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries that have cut ties to Qatar issued a steep list of demands Thursday to end the crisis, insisting that their Persian Gulf neighbor shutter broadcaster al-Jazeera, cut back diplomatic ties to Iran, and sever all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. In a 13-point list—presented to the Qataris by Kuwait, which is helping mediate the crisis—the countries also demand an end to Turkey’s military presence in Qatar. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain broke ties with Qatar this month over allegations the Persian Gulf country funds terrorism. Those countries have now given Qatar 10 days to comply with all of the demands, which include paying an unspecified sum in compensation.
According to the list, Qatar must refuse to naturalize citizens from the four countries and expel those currently in Qatar, in what the countries describe as an effort to keep Qatar from meddling in their internal affairs. They are also demanding that Qatar hand over all individuals who are wanted by those four countries for terrorism and provide detailed information on opposition figures it has funded. Qatari officials in Doha did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the AP. But the list included conditions that the gas-rich nation had already insisted would never be met, including shutting down al-Jazeera. A day earlier, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned the demands must be “reasonable and actionable.”
What are the specific terms issued by the Saudis?
1) Scale down diplomatic ties with Iran and close the Iranian diplomatic missions in Qatar, expel members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and cut off military and intelligence cooperation with Iran. Trade and commerce with Iran must comply with US and international sanctions in a manner that does not jeopardise the security of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
2) Immediately shut down the Turkish military base that is currently being built, and halt military cooperation with Turkey inside Qatari territories.
3) Sever all ties to all the “terrorist, sectarian and ideological organisations,” specifically the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIL, al-Qaeda, Fateh Al-Sham (formerly known as Nusra Front) and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Qatar needs to formally declare those entities as terrorist groups based on the list of groups that was announced by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt, and concur with all future updates of this list.
4) Stop all means of funding for individuals, groups or organisations that have been designated as terrorists by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, US and other countries.
5) Hand over “terrorist figures,” fugitives and wanted individuals from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain to their countries of origin. Freeze their assets, and provide any desired information about their residency, movements and finances.
6) Shut down Al Jazeera Network and its affiliate stations.
7) End interference in sovereign countries’ internal affairs. Stop granting citizenship to wanted nationals from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. Revoke Qatari citizenship for existing nationals where such citizenship violates those countries’ laws.
8) Qatar has to pay reparations and compensation for loss of life and other financial losses caused by Qatar’s policies in recent years. The sum will be determined in coordination with Qatar.
9) Qatar must align itself with the other Gulf and Arab countries militarily, politically, socially and economically, as well as on economic matters, in line with an agreement reached with Saudi Arabia in 2014.
10) Submit all personal details of all the opposition members that Qatar supported and detail all support that Qatar has provided them in the past. Stop all contacts with the political opposition in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. Hand over all files detailing Qatar’s prior contacts with and support for those opposition groups.
11) Shut down all news outlets that it funds, directly and indirectly, including Arabi21, Rassd, Al Araby Al Jadeed, Mekameleen and Middle East Eye, etc.
12) Agree to all the demands within 10 days of it being submitted to Qatar, or the list becomes invalid.
13) Consent to monthly audits for the first year after agreeing to the demands, then once per quarter during the second year. For the following 10 years, Qatar would be monitored annually for compliance.
Okay now we know what the Saudis want.
MY advice to the Qatari government is to issue a two word statement…..”BITE ME!”
Saudis want to control the press…..they made no mention to Saudi citizens that have supported terrorism (start at home before you demand of others)…..Qatar should counter with reparations for the blockade…..Saudis want to pick Qatar’s friends…..Saudis want open access to Qatari monetary books…..Saudis are not concerned with rights and freedom of self-determination of Qatar……they want control.
In essence….BITE ME!
Qatar’s Ambassador to the United States Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani writes: Qatar’s policies are rational, moral and just, and our efforts to foster dialogue and oppose tyranny will lead to a better future not only for our people but also for the world. Qatar has the right to chart its own course, without the interference of other nations, and that is what we can and will do. The door to the negotiating table will stay open.
The UN needs to step up and act like the governing body they are suppose to be……Saudis are acting like the bully in the school yard…the world should not allow this to continue….it could have far reaching consequences.