Qatar edges up before Cairo meeting, Saudi extends slide

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday reaffirmed Turkey's support for Qatar in its dispute with four other Arab states, saying their demands against the tiny Gulf nation were unacceptable.

Later, the countries presented Doha with a list of demands, which includes shutting down its news channel Al Jazeera, ending support for the Muslim Brotherhood, downgrading ties with Iran, and closing a military base for Turkish troops.

With Kuwait trying to mediate between the two sides, Doha has said that it will not at this point retaliate against the other countries, specifically the UAE, by cutting off the natural gas shipments it pipes to Dubai.

On Tuesday, Qatar's foreign minister delivered an official response to the demands but the letter's contents are not yet known. "We find it did not provide a basis for Qatar to retreat from its policies", Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said.

Qatar Airways said on Thursday that passengers travelling to the USA can now carry their laptops and other large electronics on board, ending a three-month in-cabin ban on devices for the Doha-based airline.

The Saudi foreign minister said further steps would be taken against Qatar at the appropriate time, and would be in line with global law.

Adel al-Jubeir said that political and economic boycott will remain in force until Qatar changes its policies "for the better".

The country is the world's leading producer of LNG.

China urges Pakistan, Afghanistan to improve ties
He said it is also agreed that a bilateral crisis management mechanism between Afghanistan and Pakistan will also be established. He said that Pakistan is very grateful to China for its constructive proposals for promoting peace and harmony in the region.

Thani says numerous demands amount of a surrender of national sovereignty, and that Qatar will "never accept" them.

On Wednesday, Qatar's foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, told a Chatham House event that Saudi Arabia and its allies see Qatar as "punching above its weight" and want to silence an alternative voice.

The four foreign ministers said they would next meet in the Bahraini capital Manama though gave no date. It is a dispute between several other Arabian states and the small yet rich country of Qatar, and now the USA president is seeking to resolve the dispute by igniting talks among the states.

Qatari diplomatic crisis deepens as Doha's reply to the demands of its Arab neighbours which followed Qatar's isolation was disclosed.

Ahead of the Cairo meeting, Donald Trump called Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi over the Gulf crisis.

The comments are coming a day after the expiration of a 48-hour deadline extension recommended by Kuwait to allow Qatar comply with set demands tabled before it which Doha has rejected. "The matter is not related only to the sovereignty of Qatar", Gabriel said.

Though Qatar Airways' routes over its neighbors have been closed, along with the country's sole land border with Saudi Arabia, Doha has been able to import food and goods from other countries.

  • Ronnie Bowen