Qatar Will Not Negotiate Unless Blockade Is Lifted First

Egypt, UAE Complain Qatar Supports 'Extremists' Through Media

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani today confirmed that his country is willing to”engage and address” the concerns of the other Gulf Arab states in proper dialogue, but that they would only be willing to engage in such a dialogue if the anti-Qatar blockade is lifted first.

In recent weeks, a number of nations, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have been moving against Qatar diplomatically, closing their border, expelling their citizens, and denying port access to planes and ships. They have accused Qatar of having too close of a relationship with Iran, and of secretly supporting terrorism.

The terrorism allegation is mostly centered on Qatar’s state media being seen providing access to banned opposition factions in the region. Egypt emphasized that today in a meeting with the crown price of Abu Dhabi, claiming that the support for terror in the region involves providing them “media cover.”

Egypt’s military junta is particularly angry about this, because Qatar’s al-Jazeera provided favorable covered to the 2011 pro-democracy revolt in Egypt, and was seen as supportive to the elected government that followed, and which was ousted in a 2013 coup.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.