‘Qatar, close Al Jazeera, your money or your life’, Saudi Arabia demands

This video says about itself:

20 June 2017

Gulf crisis: Camels become casualties of Qatar blockade

More than a 1,000 camels have been caught up in the dispute between Qatar and neighbouring Gulf countries.

Saudi Arabia shut its border with Qatar on June 5 and travellers between the two countries, including camels, found themselves stranded.

Saudi authorities expelled more than 12,000 camels and 5,000 sheep and their Qatari herders from its territory.

Al Jazeera’s Tony Birtley reports.

From Associated Press today:

Qatar’s neighbors issue steep list of demands to end crisis


WASHINGTON — 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 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. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the list in Arabic from one of the countries involved in the dispute.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain broke ties with Qatar this month over allegations the Persian Gulf country funds terrorism

If the Saudi etc. governments would be serious about that, then they would have to break ties with themselves as well.

— an accusation that President Donald Trump has echoed. Those countries have now given Qatar 10 days to comply with all of the demands, which include paying an unspecified sum in compensation.

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. Qatar’s government has said it won’t negotiate until Arab nations lift their blockade. The demands were also likely to elicit Qatari objections that its neighbors are trying to dictate its sovereign affairs by imposing such far-reaching requirements.

Only a day earlier, [United States] Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had warned the demands must be “reasonable and actionable.” The U.S. issued that litmus test amid frustration at how long it was taking Saudi Arabia and others to formalize a list of demands, complicating U.S. efforts to bring about a resolution to the worst Gulf diplomatic crisis in years.

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;

Governments like of Saudi Arabia or Bahrain call any person critical of dictatorship or pro-human rights a ‘terrorist’.

stop funding any extremist entities that are designated as terrorist groups by the U.S.; and provide detailed information about opposition figures that Qatar has funded, ostensibly in Saudi Arabia and the other nations. …

Cutting ties to Iran would prove incredibly difficult. Qatar shares a massive offshore natural gas field with Iran which supplies the small nation that will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup its wealth.

Not only must Qatar shut down the Doha-based satellite broadcaster, the list says, but also all of its affiliates. That presumably would mean Qatar would have to close down Al-Jazeera’s English-language sister network.

Supported by Qatar’s government, Al-Jazeera is one of the most widely watched Arabic channels, but it has long drawn the ire of Mideast governments for airing alternative viewpoints. …

and the ire of United States president George W Bush, who wanted to bomb it for criticism of his Iraq war

The list also demands that Qatar stop funding a host of other news outlets including Arabi21 and Middle East Eye.

If Qatar agrees to comply, the list asserts that it will be audited once a month for the first year, and then once per quarter in the second year after it takes effect. For the following 10 years, Qatar would be monitored annually for compliance.

The Qatari absolute monarchy already censors Al-Jazeera; including censorship of news which the Bahraini royal dictatorship dislikes. Now the absolute monarchies Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, and the military dictatorship Egypt, demand that all its ‘alternative viewpoints’ are killed, leaving only propaganda for absolute monarchies or military dictatorships in media.

Saudi Arabia and its allies have issued an extraordinary ultimatum to Qatar that sets the stage for a dramatic escalation of the confrontation that began with the imposition of a diplomatic and economic blockade in early June. Qatar has been given 10 days to agree to a sweeping list of 13 demands or face unspecified consequences. Acquiescence would transform the tiny, energy-rich Gulf state into a political vassal of Riyadh: here.

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