But on Monday, foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said Qatar would not negotiate with the four states unless they lifted their measures against Doha.
The four countries say Qatar must shut down its Doha-based news network Al-Jazeera and its affiliates, sever ties with “terrorist organizations” such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Hezbollah, and immediately close Turkey’s military base outside the Qatari capital.
Gargash accused Qatar of leaking a document containing the demands by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, which have cut diplomatic ties and accused Qatar of sponsoring terrorism.
Qatar also has to hand over all individuals who are wanted by those four countries for terrorism and stop funding any extremist entities that are designated as terrorist groups.
With regard to Iran, Qatar is being told to deport any and all members of the country’s Revolutionary Guard and limit commercial interactions to those that comply with USA mandates. “Decisions concerning the Qatari internal affairs are Qatari sovereignty – and no one has to interfere with them”.
An unspecified sum in compensation was also requested, and as well as an agreement to shut down Turkey’s military presence in Qatar. “The demands also relate to dragging the Gulf into radical policies with Hamas and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood“, he told AlHayat.
But Qatar is just pursuing standard small-country diplomacy, trying to balance its alliances so it doesn’t become a client state of the local hegemon.
Since the onset of Qatar’s isolation, Turkey has fast-tracked a decision to approve the deployment of troops to Qatar – part of an existing bilateral agreement but widely interpreted as a show of support for the increasingly isolated country.
Qatar appeared likely to dismiss numerous demands, including the shuttering of the landmark Al Jazeera television as well as its affiliates. Qatar’s neighbors insisted their 13-point list of demands was their bottom line, not a starting point for negotiations.
Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik said on Friday that the Turkish base aims to train Qatari soldiers and increase the tiny Persian Gulf nation’s security.
The crisis in the region began earlier this month when several countries abruptly severed diplomatic ties with Qatar.
Saudi Arabia and its allies have been suspected of extensively using cyber warfare and social media propaganda campaigns as tools to target Doha.
Turkey, which voiced support of Doha amid the antagonism, has tripled its exports to Qatar since the transport blockade was announced, Turkey’s Customs and Trade Minister Bulent Tufenkci said Thursday.
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