LONDON — Gulf states have issued Qatar with 13 demands that must be met to lift their blockade of the country, including the disbanding of news channel Al Jazeera.
Qatar has been given just 10 days to comply or the offer becomes void.
Qatar has previously said it won’t negotiate until the blockade, enacted by neighbouring countries including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, is lifted.
On Thursday, a US state department spokeswoman said that the demands have to be “reasonable and actionable.”
The crisis hit Qatar on June 5 when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and trade ties and accused it of supporting terrorist groups such as the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda. Qatar has denied the allegations.
Here is the full list of demands:
- Qatar must reduce diplomatic representation with Iran.
- Qatar must immoderately shut down the Turkish military base that is being established, and halt any military co-operation with Turkey in Qatar.
- Qatar must announce severance of ties with terrorist, ideological and sectarian orgs, including the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State, Al Qaeda and Hizbollah; and designate them as terrorists.
- Qatar must cease any funding activities to extremist and terrorist individuals, entities and organisations.
- Qatar must hand over all designated terrorists, wanted by the four countries; freeze their assets; stop hosting others in the future.
- Qatar must shut down Al Jazeera and all affiliated channels.
- Qatar must stop interference in other countries’ domestic + foreign affairs.
- Qatar must provide reparations to these countries for any opportunity costs incurred over the past few years because of Qatari policies.
- Qatar must get in sync with its Gulf and Arab neighbourhood on all levels.
- Qatar must provide all databases related to oppositionists that it provided support to and clarify what help was provided.
- Qatar must declare all media outlets backed by it directly or indirectly.
- These demands must be agreed within 10 days, otherwise they would be invalidated.
- The agreement will involve clear goals and a reporting mechanism — monthly reports in the first year, every three months and then annually for 10 years.
The blockade has had an immediate effect on Qatar, which has imported cows to maintain its milk supply and battled to keep its tight currency peg with the dollar.
Earlier this month shares in the country’s banks fell sharply after the UAE central bank told its lenders to stop dealing with 59 individuals with links to Qatar and carry out enhanced due diligence on their activities with six Qatari banks.
Qatari lenders receive a lot of funding from other Gulf states, about 60 billion riyals ($US16.5 billion) according to a Reuters report, which could dry up if the crisis continues or worsens.
Meanwhile the Qatari riyal hit 3.67 to the dollar, its weakest level in 19 years. Qatar’s central bank has pegged the currency to 3.64 to the dollar so even small movements are likely to produce new lows.