By Arab News
The foreign ministers of the four countries calling for combating terrorism, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, are meeting in Cairo Wednesday to discuss Qatar’s response to the four nations’ list of 13 demands amid the Gulf diplomatic crisis.
“We look forward to receiving Qatar’s response to the demands in order to study it thoroughly before taking stances,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Monday at a joint press conference with his German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel.
The meeting is being held after the four Arab nations — who accuse Qatar of supporting extremism — gave Doha an extra 48 hours to meet their demands after an initial 10-day deadline expired on Sunday.
“At the invitation of (Egyptian) Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, there will be a quartet meeting of the foreign ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in Cairo on Wednesday July 5 to follow up on the developing situation regarding relations with Qatar,” Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement earlier.
The four countries severed diplomatic and travel ties with Qatar last month, accusing it of supporting terrorism and being an ally of regional foe Iran, charges that Doha denies.
They threatened further sanctions if Qatar did not comply with a list of 13 demands presented through mediator Kuwait 10 days ago, which Qatar rejected.
Meanwhile, Gabriel had meetings with the UAE and Qatari foreign ministers, and said he saw signs emerging of a chance to involve “international bodies” in the discussions and to get all sides involved in the dispute around the negotiating table.
UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan said on Tuesday that the four Arab nations have yet to receive details on Qatar’s response to demands they made as part of the diplomatic crisis gripping the Arabian Gulf. He refused to say what action the countries may take against Qatar.
Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani did not give any further details on Tuesday, but said Doha was looking for a solution to the month-long crisis based on dialogue.
“The state of Qatar has adopted a very constructive attitude since the beginning of the crisis. We are tying to act mature and discuss the matter,” he said.
The 13 demands included Doha closing broadcaster Al Jazeera as well as downgrading diplomatic ties with Iran.