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Thursday, 20 July 2017

Demands on Qatar soften?

Have the demands submitted to Qatar been softened to “six principles”? The countries boycotting Qatar have set a list of “six principles” Qatar must abide by,Taimur Khan writes for The National. Diplomats from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Bahrain confirmed at the United Nations in New York that the six less specific principles, which do not have a deadline, had officially replaced the original demands, according to Khan. The new principles do not require the shutting down of Al Jazeera, but are set to serve as a framework for future talks to end the crisis. This comes amid mediation efforts by Kuwait, which are supported by the United States, United Nations, and European countries.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry, however, rejects that the “Arab Quartet” had downgraded or dropped their original list of 13 demands, which includes shuttering Al Jazeera, according to statements by Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said yesterday picked up by Al Shorouk.

Meanwhile, the US and the UK have reportedly come up with a proposal to resolve the regional crisis by “laying the grounds for direct negotiations based on an accord that resolved a previous dispute between the Gulf nations, as well as counterterrorism measures,” Bloomberg reports. The roadmap is based on two agreements Qatar and the GCC countries signed in 2013 and 2014 which “included pledges ‘not to interfere in the internal affairs’ of other Gulf Cooperation Council members and not to harbor people engaged in activities damaging to those countries.”

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