Blockade continues after Qatar rejects demands of Arab neighbors

Qatar FM arrives in Kuwait to give reply on demands

Qatar also hosts the largest USA military base in the region and has declared itself as an United States ally, but Doha is accused of not only tolerating, but encouraging private funding of terrorist organizations, such as the Muslim Brotherhood and former Iraq Al Qaida group AQI, today known as ISIS. "We find it did not provide a basis for Qatar to retreat from its policies", Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said.

He also said, "In respect to future measures, we are in constant communication".

Their foreign ministers met in Cairo on Wednesday after a deadline they gave Qatar to meet 13 demands expired.

Following Qatar's defiance the four countries said they would be increasing sanctions on Qatar, which is already reeling from a land, air and sea blockade imposed on it since the crisis erupted approximately a month ago.

"Yesterday, we arranged that the Qataris would meet our secret services... open all the books and show them when we have questions about certain people or structures", German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told Deutschlandfunk public radio Thursday, upon returning from a trip to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as Kuwait - the mediator in the ongoing dispute between the two countries.

Qatar still has the backing of Turkey in the diplomatic crisis, however, with President Erdogan reiterating his support for Qatar, and his view that the demands, which include expelling Turkey's military from a base in Qatar, are unacceptable.

For his part, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir said: "Turkey told us it will remain neutral from the crisis, and we hope they will stick to that position".


On June 5, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain and Yemen all abruptly cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of meddling in their domestic affairs and supporting terrorist groups.

Any further steps taken against Qatar would be "taken at the appropriate time" and be "in line with global law".

The nations could impose financial sanctions or force Qatar out of the Gulf Cooperation Council, a regional body known as the GCC that serves as a counterbalance to Iran. Military action would be a disastrous last resort but another worrying possibility hinted at by UAE spokesmen is secondary sanctions: forcing countries to choose between doing business with the Saudi-led quartet or with Qatar.

The decision not to respond immediately with fresh measures may reflect pressure from western capitals to ease the dispute, and the effectiveness of Qatar's campaign to present itself as an innocent victim of an attempt to meddle with its foreign policy, The Guardian comments.

In a related development, US President Donald Trump spoke to Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah Al Sisi to urge all parties "to negotiate constructively".

The White House said Trump reiterated the need for all countries "to stop terrorist financing and discredit extremist ideology".

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