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Qatar Shuns ‘Unreasonable’ Saudi-Led Demands To Cut Ties With Iran, Shut Al-Jazeera

Qatar on June 24 labelled as "unreasonable" demands made by four Arab states to shutter the Al-Jazeera network, cut most ties with Iran, and close Turkey's air base as the price of ending a regional boycott of the small Persian Gulf state.

The demands were included in a 13-point list presented to Doha as an ultimatum by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates which went well beyond the original reason those states cited for snubbing Doha -- that it was funding and harboring "terrorists."

"This list of demands confirms what Qatar has said from the beginning: the illegal blockade has nothing to do with combatting terrorism. It is about limiting Qatar's sovereignty, and outsourcing our foreign policy," Sheikh Saif al-Thani, director of Qatar's government communications office, said.

Thani said the demands are not "reasonable and actionable" -- two criteria laid down by the U.S. State Department this week in an attempt to mediate the dispute.

The department did not comment on the list of demands on June 23, but the White House appeared to distance itself from the dispute, calling it a "family issue" that should be sorted out among the Arab states.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.


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