Gulf 4 don't like Qatar's answer
THE foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have criticised the "negative” response from Qatar to their list of demands, prolonging the month-long stand-off.
The four countries cut ties with Qatar over its close ties to Iran and alleged support for terrorist groups, something Doha denies.
Officials from the four countries met in Cairo after Qatar responded to the 13 demands the bloc insisted must be met to end their isolation of the tiny energy-rich kingdom.
Those demands include shutting down the Al Jazeera TV channel, curtailing Qatar's support for the Muslim Brotherhood, closing a Turkish military base in Qatar and downgrading ties with Iran.
"The response the four states got was overall negative and lacked any content. We find it did not provide a basis for Qatar to retreat from its policies,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said: "The political and economic boycott will continue until Qatar changes its policies for the better.”
Any further steps taken against Qatar would be "taken at the appropriate time” and be "in line with international law”.
After a two-day extension to an initial 10-day deadline, Doha had submitted its response to what it considered "legitimate” demands from its neighbours early on Wednesday via Kuwait, which is acting as a mediator.
Tentative reconciliation efforts led by Kuwaiti delegations, as well as encouragement from Turkey, Germany, the US State Department and UN, have so far come to nothing. With all sides so far refusing to back down, it is feared a compromise could still be elusive.
The stand-off has plunged Qatar into crisis, sending the stock market tumbling and closing down its airspace.
Families have been split up and myriad businesses affected by demands for Qatari nationals to leave the countries involved and vice versa. - INM