UAE: Arab states don't seek 'regime change' in Qatar

According to the source, a number of Arab countries, including Jordan and Egypt, raised the issue of suspect connections between Qatar and the Nusra Front, the Syrian branch of al Qaeda, and other jihadist organizations many times, "but President Obama chose to ignore the warnings of the Arab countries".

It is not clear if the list of demands, submitted on Thursday, is a starting point for talks or if they are non-negotiable, but Qatar was given 10 days to respond. 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. "This list does not satisfy that criterion". The document has not been published but has been widely leaked and the demands are sweeping in their scope.

The United Arab Emirates has said the list was meant to be confidential, and it has accused Qatar of leaking it to the press in a sign of bad faith.

"We believe it's a family issue and that they should work out". That's just fine, the United States said.

Qatar should officially reduce its diplomatic representation with Iran and close down its offices in the country; all members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards and those linked to them must depart Qatar; dealing with Iran should be restricted to commercial exchange allowed under global and US sanctions and those that don't harm the security of the Gulf Cooperation Council; cut off any military or intelligence cooperation with Iran.

Doha said it is reviewing the list of demands and that a formal response will be made by the foreign ministry and delivered to Kuwait, but added that the demands are not reasonable or actionable.

Social media was abuzz with a new trending topic yesterday as residents and others reacted to a long list of orders given to Qatar by its neighbors amid an ongoing siege. For the following 10 years, Qatar would be monitored annually for compliance. The AP obtained a copy from one of the countries involved in the dispute. And Qatar's support for the Arab Spring uprisings and for the Muslim Brotherhood have angered countries including Egypt.

Kuwait is helping mediate the dispute as is the United States, for which it is a big test since Qatar is home to a base housing the headquarters of its Middle East air power and 11,000 troops. Instead, Turkey might bolster its presence.

Taking to Twitter, Ambassador Thani while criticizing the list said Qatar is being punished for its independence.

Al Jazeera said any call to close down the network is an attempt to silence freedom of expression in the region.

"They are bullies", he added.

He claimed the demands were proof that sanctions against Qatar were "nothing to do with combating terrorism" and were more about limiting its sovereignty and outsourcing its foreign policy.

The United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister said Saturday that if Qatar does not comply with the demands presented to it by boycotting Arab countries, it will lead not necessarily to an escalation, but to "a parting of ways".

Qatar strongly denies such charges. But the list included conditions that the gas-rich nation had already insisted would never be met, including shutting down Al-Jazeera.

The Emirati ambassador to the United States says that Qatar will remain cut off from its neighbors if it refuses to consent to their list of demands.

The analyst says Qatar and Saudi Arabia have always been regional rivals.

It was also ordered to scale down its diplomatic relations with Iran, limit its commercial ties and expel members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards from its territory.

"Strengthening the Turkish base would be a positive step in terms of the Gulf's security", he said.

"The four states can afford to wait, but Qatar cannot", said Fawaz Gerges, a Middle East expert at the London School of Economics. Analysts have accused President Donald Trump's administration of sending mixed signals, exacerbating the rift.

The demands aimed at ending the worst Gulf Arab crisis in years. "The demands are so aggressive that it makes it close to impossible to now see a resolution of that conflict", said Olivier Jakob, a strategist at Switzerland-based oil consultancy Petromatrix. "Military action remains unlikely at the moment so the outcome after the deadline would be a political stalemate..."

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