US Republican to withhold consent for arms sales over Gulf dispute


Saudi Arabia and its allies require Qatar to cut diplomatic relations with Iran, close the Turkish military base, eliminate Al-Jazeera TV channel and extradite all persons wanted in four countries on charges of terrorism. The diplomatic rupture has been deemed an outcome of that trip, which analysts say Saudi Arabia took to be a sign of unconditional United States support for a more aggressive foreign policy.

But Tillerson said Qatar was assessing the demands and stressed there were "significant areas which provide a basis for ongoing dialogue leading to resolution".

"The demands are so aggressive that it makes it close to impossible to now see a resolution of that conflict", Olivier Jakob, a strategist at Switzerland-based oil consultancy Petromatrix, told Reuters.

"While Senator Corker's efforts are admirable, they are unlikely to have the intended effect", she said.

"Qatar has begun its careful review and consideration of a series of requests presented by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE", Tillerson said in a statement issued from Washington.

"To ask Turkey to pull out its troops from Qatar is firstly disrespectful behaviour towards us", he said in Istanbul, according to Reuters. "It's now up to Qatar to end its support for extremism and terrorism", Jubeir said via Twitter.

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Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera says any move to shut it down is an attack on media freedom, following demands by its Gulf neighbors for the network to be taken off air.

"Demanding that Turkey pull its soldiers is unfortunately also disrespectful toward Turkey", he said.

The Arab powers gives Qatar only 10 days to comply or the offer will be void. "This approach of 13 demands is against worldwide law because you can not attack or intervene in the sovereignty of a country", Erdoğan said on June 25, speaking outside an Istanbul mosque after prayers marking the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia along with the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt cut ties with Qatar and introduced sanctions on the country for its relations with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

The gas-rich nation is home to the United States' largest global air force base and over 10 thousand troops. Sheikh Saif Al Thani, director of Qatar's government communications office, said the list of demands falls short of Tillerson's "reasonable and actionable" test and were instead an effort to limit the country's sovereignty. "No one", al-Jubeir said.

The United Arab Emirates warned that Qatar should take the demands seriously or face "divorce" from its Gulf neighbors.