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Accept demands or it’s goodbye Qatar

New sanctions being considered; trading partners could be asked to chose between us or Doha, UAE says

Image Credit: Reuters
A deserted Hamad International Airport in Qatar’s capital Doha. Visitors from the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries usually account for almost half of all visitors to Qatar. A decision by Arab states to cut ties with Doha on June 5 hit the air passenger traffic to Qatar hard.

Dubai: In a series of clear warning messages to Qatar, Arab Gulf officials have stressed that meeting a set of demands that were put forward by four Arab countries is the only way out of the crisis for Doha.

The officials said they are considering further economic pressure on Qatar, such as reducing commercial links with states that continue to trade with Doha.

UAE Ambassador to Moscow, Omar Gobash, sent a strong message to Doha that it could face expulsion from the Gulf Cooperation Council if it does not meet the 13-point-demands set by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. 

The four countries had cut their diplomatic relations with Doha earlier this month over Qatar’s foreign policy and its support to terrorism.

In an interview in London with The Guardian, Gobash said there are “certain economic decisions that we can take which are being considered right now”.

“One possibility would be to set conditions on our own trading partners and say you want to work with us then you have got to make a commercial choice.

“If Qatar was not willing to accept the demands, it is a case of ‘Goodbye Qatar’ we do not need you in our tent anymore,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Anwar Mohammad Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, called on Qatar to make a “wise and well-thought choice” move before the time frame given by the four Arab countries to Doha to comply with the demands.  

“Now that the hour of truth is coming nearer, we invite the brother to choose his surroundings, to choose honesty and transparency in dealing  [with the issue],”  he said in a tweet.

 “We have long suffered from the brother’s conspiracy to undermine our stability and we have witnessed his support for a partisan agenda seeking to create chaos in our Arab world. Now, we tell him: Enough! Get back to your senses or go on your way, but without us,” he posted on his Twitter account yesterday.  He was referring to Qatar as brother.

In Washington, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir showed a tougher stand saying that there is no room for negotiations with Qatar.

“We made our point, we took our steps and it’s up to the Qataris to amend their behavior,”  Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir told reporters. Once they do, “then things will be worked out. But if they don’t, they will remain isolated.” 

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