Qatar told to close Al Jazeera, reduce Iran ties in list of demands
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (CNN)Four Arab states that have boycotted Qatar have handed the country a list of 13 demands, including some likely to infuriate Doha and exacerbate the region's worst crisis in decades.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt sent Qatar the list -- which includes a demand to shut down the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera news network -- and gave the country 10 days to comply with the demands. CNN's Erin Burnett obtained the list, which Qatari officials said is authentic.
Some key demands:
- Shut down the Al Jazeera media network and its affiliates.
- Halt the development of a Turkish military base in the country.
- Reduce diplomatic ties with Iran.
- Cut ties to extremist organizations.
- Stop interfering in the four countries' affairs.
- Stop the practice of giving Qatari nationality to citizens of the four countries.
Qatar 'studying' demands
Qatar confirmed Friday it had received the list and was studying the demands. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it would give its official response to Kuwait, which has been acting as the mediator between Qatar and its neighbors.
The director of Qatar's Government Communication Office, Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed Al-Thani, said the demands confirm what Qatar has said from the beginning: "The illegal siege has nothing to do with combating terrorism, (but) it is about limiting Qatar's sovereignty, and outsourcing our foreign policy."
Qatar's National Human Rights Committee said some of the demands violate international human rights conventions, according to a Qatar News Agency story tweeted Friday by the foreign ministry.
It raised concerns about the closure of Al Jazeera, citizenship rights and extraditions.
"NHRC noted that Qatar's acceptance of these demands and conditions would subject the country to international accountability and violate its obligations on human rights conventions. In this context NHRC urged the state of Qatar not to accept those demands," the article said.
After US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he hoped the demands would be "reasonable and actionable," and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the demands should be "measured and realistic," Al-Thani said the list does not satisfy any of those criteria.
Al Jazeera said any call to close down the network is an attempt to silence freedom of expression in the region.
"We assert our right to practice our journalism professionally without bowing to pressure from any government or authority and we demand that governments respect the freedom of media to allow journalists to continue to do their jobs free of intimidation, threats and fear-mongering," it said in a statement.
Demands have an expiration date
A senior UAE government official accused Qatar of leaking the list in an attempt to undermine mediation efforts and regional stability.
"The leakage will further exasperate & prolong the Qatar crisis. Undermining serious diplomacy will lead to parting of ways," UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Twitter.
The Arab nations cut ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting terrorism and destabilizing the region.
The four countries say the list will become void if Qatar fails to comply within the 10-day period.
They called on Qatar to sever ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Jabhat Fateh al Sham.
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