Cairo, July 3 (IANS) The four Gulf countries that issued an ultimatum to Qatar over its alleged support to terrorism have extended the deadline for the country by two more days to meet their demands.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt issued a joint statement late Sunday stating that they have extended the ultimatum, which had been previously scheduled for July 4, for 48 more hours at the request of the Kuwaiti emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Efe news reported.
That extension, what the four countries call a “grace period” offered to Qatar, is based on the Qatari government’s assertion that it will send its official response to the list of demands addressed to it on Monday, Saudi SPA news agency said.
The four Gulf countries in June had severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar, which they accuse of supporting Iran and terrorism.
The list of demands to overcome the crisis comprised 13 points, including the closure of the Al-Jazeera TV channel, the end of diplomatic relations with Iran and the closure of a Turkish military base in the emirate.
Qatar denied all allegations, but the country’s authorities stated that they were open to negotiations.
Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani earlier this week said in Rome that his country refuses to negotiate the list of demands, adding that any discussion on them will have to be based on the principle that his country’s sovereignty must be untouchable.