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  1. #1
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    Qatar

    Strong list of demands with little muscle to back it up.


    NewsQatar39 minutes ago


    Arab states issue list of demands to end Qatar crisis


    Saudi and other Arab nations ask Qatar to shut Al Jazeera, close a Turkish base and scale down Iran ties within 10 days.








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    Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries that have cut ties to Qatar have reportedly issued a list of demands to end a major Gulf crisis, insisting that Qatar shut down the Al Jazeera network, close a Turkish military base and scale down ties with Iran.

    In the 13-point list, the countries also demand that Qatar sever all alleged ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and with other groups, including Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and ISIL (also known as ISIS).

    Associated Press and Reuters news agencies reported they obtained the list from unnamed officials from one of the countries involved in isolating Qatar.

    Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut ties to Qatar this month over allegations that the country funds "terrorism" - an accusation that Qatar denies.









    Will the war of words hamper efforts to resolve the Gulf crisis? Ė Inside Story




    Those countries have now given Qatar 10 days to comply with all of the demands, which also include paying an unspecified sum in compensation for what they claimed to be "loss of life and other financial losses caused by Qatar's policies".

    According to the list, Qatar must refuse to naturalise citizens from the four countries and "revoke Qatari citizenship for existing nationals where such citizenship violates those countries' laws".

    Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson insisted that Qatar's neighbours provide a list of demands that was "reasonable and actionable".

    The Iran provisions in the document say Qatar must shut down diplomatic posts in Iran, expel any members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, and only conduct trade and commerce with Iran that complies with US sanctions.

    READ MORE: Qatar-Gulf crisis - All the latest updates

    The demands regarding Al Jazeera state that Qatar must also shut down all affiliates and other news outlets that Qatar funds, including Arabi21, Rassd, Al Araby Al Jadeed and Middle East Eye.

    If Qatar agrees to comply, the list asserts that it will be audited once a month for the first year, and then once per quarter in the second year after it takes effect.

    For the following 10 years, Qatar would be monitored annually for compliance.

    The document does not specify what the countries will do if Qatar refuses to comply.


    List of demands by Saudi Arabia, other Arab nations

    1) Scale down diplomatic ties with Iran and close the Iranian diplomatic missions in Qatar, expel members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard and cut off military and intelligence cooperation with Iran. Trade and commerce with Iran must comply with US and international sanctions in a manner that does not jeopardise the security of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

    2) Immediately shut down the Turkish military base, which is currently under construction, and halt military cooperation with Turkey inside of Qatar.




    MARWAN BISHARA, AL JAZEERA'S SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST:

    Clearly, there is an insult here. It is not just a question of demands.

    The tone of these demands, the underlining approach, not only shows total ignorance of international relations and a lack of understanding what state sovereignty means, but it also goes to the heart of the lack of coherence and preparation for putting a document like this together by the four countries.

    This could be, for some who are supportive of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the start of the negotiation position, if you will. That this is the starting bid and now Qatar could counter bid.But to be honest, I donít think thatís even a starting bid.

    The US state department had made it clear that this [list with demands] needs to be reasonable, actionable and there have to be facts. There has to be evidence provided and of course there is no evidence provided.

    What we know here is that this has nothing to do with "terrorism".

    When they talk about "terrorism", this is something that Qatar doesnít do. Qatar has made it clear throughout that it does not support Fateh al-Sham that it does not support ISIL, that it doesnít support al-Qaeda and so forth. If you accuse it of doing so then you have to provide evidence.

    The Muslim Brotherhood is not considered a terrorist organisation by England, by the United States and by most countries around the world.

    This document shows these four countries are not interested in a solution to the crisis. What they are asking for is a complete and total humiliating surrender by Qatar of its sovereignty. That is not going to happen.

    This is counter revolution 2.0. This is the second phase of the attack on the Arab spring and whatís left of it which is very little.

    3) Sever ties to all "terrorist, sectarian and ideological organisations," specifically the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIL, al-Qaeda, Fateh Al-Sham (formerly known as the Nusra Front) and Lebanon's Hezbollah. Formally declare these entities as terror groups as per the list announced by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt, and concur with all future updates of this list.

    4) Stop all means of funding for individuals, groups or organisations that have been designated as terrorists by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, US and other countries.

    REAd MORE: Qatar-Gulf crisis - Your questions answered

    5) Hand over "terrorist figures," fugitives and wanted individuals from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain to their countries of origin. Freeze their assets, and provide any desired information about their residency, movements and finances.

    6) Shut down Al Jazeera and its affiliate stations.

    7) End interference in sovereign countries' internal affairs. Stop granting citizenship to wanted nationals from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. Revoke Qatari citizenship for nationals where such citizenship violates those countries' laws.

    8) Pay reparations and compensation for loss of life and other financial losses caused by Qatar's policies in recent years. The sum will be determined in coordination with Qatar.

    9) Align Qatar's military, political, social and economic policies with the other Gulf and Arab countries, as well as on economic matters, as per the 2014 agreement reached with Saudi Arabia.



    10) Cease contact with the political opposition in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. Hand over files detailing Qatarís prior contact with and support for opposition groups, and submit details of their personal information and the support Qatar has provided them.

    11) Shut down all news outlets funded directly and indirectly by Qatar, including Arabi21, Rassd, Al Araby Al Jadeed, Mekameleen and Middle East Eye, etc.

    12) Agree to all the demands within 10 days of list being submitted to Qatar, or the list will become invalid.

    13) Consent to monthly compliance audits in the first year after agreeing to the demands, followed by quarterly audits in the second year, and annual audits in the following 10 years.


    Turkey's Defence Minister Fikri Isik said his country had no plans to review its military base in Qatar and that any demand for its closure would represent interference in the country's relations with the Gulf state.

    Isik told broadcaster NTV that he had not yet seen a demand for the base to be shut.

    "The base in Qatar is both a Turkish base and one that will preserve the security of Qatar and the region," Isik said in an interview on Friday.

    "Re-evaluating the base agreement with Qatar is not on our agenda."

    Interference in sovereignty

    Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra said the list is "definitely going to be rejected by Qatar".

    "Qatar has said it will only look into the demands once the sanctions are lifted," he said, adding that Qatar had already said that closing Al Jazeera was off the table.

    "It is a matter of national sovereignty. Anything that is presented to the Qataris which it considers to be interference in its internal affairs is going to be dismissed," Ahelbarra said.

    "Just yesterday the general sentiment we had was that perhaps the international community and GCC will turn toward restoring ties. But at this particular moment, I believe that there will be further escalation, mounting tension because of these demands.

    "Specifically, this demand on compensation takes the region into unchartered territory. To ask for compensation, you have to have the Qatari government say; 'Sorry, I've made mistakes', and look into every single instance where Qataris made mistakes.

    "This is unprecedented in the Arab world. What if the Qataris say the Saudis have to pay compensation for every single civilian killed or innocent life taken all over the world. This is really surreal," Ahelbarra added.
    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/0...022133024.html
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

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    Can anyone explain Saudi Arabia et alia strategic thinking here? Can this end productively for the gulf states. Is this an example of strong forceful politics by the Trump admin? A major shift in tone compard to the Obama admin. I understand this is not the Trump admins policy but hard to see this taking place during Obama's reign.

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    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tantalus View Post
    Can anyone explain Saudi Arabia et alia strategic thinking here? Can this end productively for the gulf states. Is this an example of strong forceful politics by the Trump admin? A major shift in tone compard to the Obama admin. I understand this is not the Trump admins policy but hard to see this taking place during Obama's reign.
    The Saudis are uncomfortable with Qatar charting an independent foreign policy since the discovery of tons of natural gas that made them wealthy. The US has bases in most of the GCC countries and in the past has been careful not to support one over any of the others in order to remain impartial. As a result, the Saudis were hamstrung from taking action against another US client for fear of losing the support of their patron.

    Except that when Trump publically condemned Qatar while supporting Riyadh it appeared the US had chosen sides, and the Saudis saw a green light to force concessions from Qatar and bring them into line in the Saudi orbit without US interference.

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    I don't watch Al Jazeera on a regular basis....When I do it seems more in line with BBC Journalism, I've never felt threatened by it....Should we shut down the BBC next?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
    The Saudis are uncomfortable with Qatar charting an independent foreign policy since the discovery of tons of natural gas that made them wealthy. The US has bases in most of the GCC countries and in the past has been careful not to support one over any of the others in order to remain impartial. As a result, the Saudis were hamstrung from taking action against another US client for fear of losing the support of their patron.

    Except that when Trump publically condemned Qatar while supporting Riyadh it appeared the US had chosen sides, and the Saudis saw a green light to force concessions from Qatar and bring them into line in the Saudi orbit without US interference.
    Cool, thanks. I have read others hinting the same. Seems the Trump admin outlook is key in shaping events here and various actors are operating under new rules and seizing the initiative.

    Will Qatar have to bow folks? It seems Iran and Turkey have little influence and those land bridges to saudi are key.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    I don't watch Al Jazeera on a regular basis....When I do it seems more in line with BBC Journalism, I've never felt threatened by it....Should we shut down the BBC next?
    Does anyone have any context for this demand? Seems bizarre and wildly inappropriate, as do many of the other requests. I would think this will start getting uncomfortable for the US...

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    Middle East forward operating HQ for CENTCOM has been in Qatar for the past 15 years.

    The US just agreed to sell US$ 12 billion worth of F-15s to Qatar...surely good economics (and jobs) for US aerospace and weapon-systems manufacturing.

    So please - is Qatar really the home of terrorist-funding central casting ?

    [The proven threat, perpetration and funding from 11 September 2001 originated at and under whose doorstep exactly ? Hint: not Qatar...and the late King Fahd Al Sahd of Saudi Arabia's lips no longer tell a tale.]
    Last edited by PeeCoffee; 25 Jun 17, at 04:54.

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    It is the clash of two conflicting blocks in the Sunni world: The "status quo camp" which is UAE, Egypt and Saudi and the "political Islam" camp, which is Turkey and Qatar and Egypt for a while when it was under Morsi

    While Western media has been educating folks here about the ins and out of the shi'a-Sunni rivalry, they never got into this story until very recently.

    All of the governments above + those in the Shia world support terrorism in one way or another.
    It is is just that people are often brainwashed to think terrorism is only related to what we see on TV. A Saudi F15 dropping bombs on a Houti wedding is also terrorism and those who support responsible for it as well. Adding technological prowess to a desire to eradicate non-combatants does not make it less of a terrorism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    I don't watch Al Jazeera on a regular basis....When I do it seems more in line with BBC Journalism, I've never felt threatened by it....Should we shut down the BBC next?
    The issue is more with the Arabic Al J I believe which gave wings to the Arab Spring and that has been a thorne on the Saudi sides for decades

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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tantalus View Post
    Will Qatar have to bow folks? It seems Iran and Turkey have little influence and those land bridges to saudi are key.
    Qatar are digging in for the long haul. The GCC was formed on the encouragement of Washington & London to keep them out of the Iran-Iraq war and it served the purpose. Kicking Qatar out of the GCC weakens the GCC and sends them closer to Iran. Two own goals right there.

    Had a friend transit through Qatar en route to India a day after they blocked their airspace, so his flight neatly avoided their space and landed fine. The sea routes are open so unless they blockade ports, Qatar can hold out. US will have to play peace maker.

    Does anyone have any context for this demand? Seems bizarre and wildly inappropriate, as do many of the other requests. I would think this will start getting uncomfortable for the US...
    Bad blood between the royal families of the Emirates and Qatar. Lots of things that annoy the Emiratis. 32yr old crown prince in KSA who wants to make a name for himself. A man in a hurry.

    They want regime change in Qatar any way possible. Won't be the first time either. Back in 1995 the Emir of Qatar was deposed by his son during a holiday abroad. The Saudis planned a counter coup a year after but failed to get the old man back. They hired a bunch of bedouins to storm the palace and do the business. Joke was when said mercs reached Doha, some witnesses overheard them calling their handlers for instructions to reach the palace, couldn't find it : D

    That son setup Al Jazeera. He stepped down in 2013 and his fourth son is now in charge. The elder two sons weren't suitable, one played too much and the other prayed too much.

    The last time the Saudis & Emiratis got upset in 2014, HBJ the Qatari foreign minister was sidelined. He pretty much architected Qatars increasingly independent policy of the last decade. It was so strange to see, Qatar grew up and didn't need big brother KSA. The emiratis and saudis are more vulnerable to the muslim brotherhood than Qatar. Existential issue here more serious than Iran. If you notice the alignment between countries that have some form of election process against those that don't

    Quote Originally Posted by xerxes View Post
    While Western media has been educating folks here about the ins and out of the shi'a-Sunni rivalry, they never got into this story until very recently.
    oh yeah the sunnin-sunni rivalry could be seen as more important than the sunni-shia one that tends to be more ideological and power plays. Prof Gilles Kepel has spoken about it numerous times.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 09 Jul 17, at 01:36.

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    Thanks for the info. What's your take on the demands? Is it as clumsy and botched as it looks on the surface?

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    The emiratis and saudis are more vulnerable to the muslim brotherhood than Qatar. Existential issue here more serious than Iran. If you notice the alignment between countries that have some form of election process against those that don't
    Can you elaborate on this...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    oh yeah the sunnin-sunni rivalry could be seen as more important than the sunni-shia one that tends to be more ideological and power plays. Prof Gilles Kepel has spoken about it numerous times.
    Any chance of a link

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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tantalus View Post
    Any chance of a link
    Listen to this talk he gave at Carnegie in May 2014. It's quite broad and covers some of it. There have been many devices used to cover up differences. Arab unity, Muslim unity, OIC, the Palestinian cause etc

    Quote Originally Posted by tantalus View Post
    Thanks for the info. What's your take on the demands? Is it as clumsy and botched as it looks on the surface?


    Can you elaborate on this...
    It's typical of how these gulf states work, moment they sense something working against them, its full on boycotts, embargos & entire country specific deportations. Just a matter of the right time.

    The Saudis are reasserting themselves and want Qatar to fall into line. The gulf has to speak in one voice to counter Iran. They couldn't do much when Obama was in office but figure Trump will be more supportive.

    Some govts have a legitimacy problem. They aren't popularly elected. So in a country with the majority under the age of 30, revolutionary ideas such as the MB are problematic. The way the Saudis deal with this is write out cheques. Easier when the price of oil is higher than it is currently. If its unlikely that oil prices will rise near term, they need to think about taxes. Now that is a completely alien concept. Taxation without representation is a recipe for trouble. So these govts and the saudis in particular have to think power devolution to the people. The Kuwaitis have been at it for a while and its a mess but that's normal. Iran holds elections regularly but is still authoritarian. You have to let go and at the same time be in control. It's a tightrope act where failure has consequences as bad as not opening up. The Chinese have a similar problem, as the economy slows the crack downs increase to prempt perceived trouble in the future. They're consolidating at the top.

    The Saudis hosted the MB in the 90's on the condition they keep a low profile but after a while found they were being questioned so threw them out. The MB coming to power in Egypt and the arab spring just heightened their problems, when they saw their chance they encouraged their ouster in exchange to prop up Egypt's currency. What this does is show young people that legitimate means aren't viable and extremism is the only way. All the terrorist ideologies that emanate from the region have a common cause. OBL is just one in an ever increasing line of usurpers.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 13 Jul 17, at 12:40.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xerxes View Post
    The issue is more with the Arabic Al J I believe which gave wings to the Arab Spring and that has been a thorne on the Saudi sides for decades
    This may be one of the keys here. Al Jazeera has been a thorn in the Saudi (and other Gulf States) side as it isn't afraid to report a more complete truth than the ruling princes are willing to tell their own people. The only exception would be within Qatar itself where Al Jazeera is not known to particularly criticize it's own Prince - bite the hand that feeds and all that.

    Saudi Arabia is using this pretext to attempt to muzzle Al Jazeera. It will be interesting to see how this plays out and if it shifts any of the dynamics in any meaningful way (ie, push Qatar into even closer relationship with Iran.)

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    As you write Sec of State Rex "XOM" Tillerson is in Jeddah leading the Texas Two-Step dancing round in circles to keep one foot in the Saudi circle and one foot in the Qatari camp.

    What a joke...Saudi dictators who censor and severely prosecute dissenting opinion, punish freedom of expression within the Kingdom and restrict democracy throughout their fiefdoms are demanding that Qatar not only restricts but shuts down a respected "voice of democracy" for the Middle East.

    Exactly where are America's values when it comes to the Absolute Monarchy of Saudi Arabia ?

    Sure, fight to "bring democracy" to every ravaged nation (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya) that Saudi could care less about but then to tolerate "an allies" total lack of democratic freedoms ?...what an absolute mockery.

    Please Rex, don't bend over too far in Jeddah...please don't.
    Real eyes realize real lies.

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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Nice little spat going on here : D

    Qatar stands accused of subverting the security of its neighbours.

    What is the remedy ? Qatar gets to stand in the corner for a couple of years



    If anyone in Saudi is seen publically supporting Qatar, 15yr jail time. If they treat their own like that its no surprise whats going on here.

    I don't worry about Qatar, they've managed to transition, its the Saudis and stability in the kingdom that is of concern. How long can their nonsense last.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 14 Jul 17, at 14:00.

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